BJP leader Subramanian Swamy termed as ‘absolutely deplorable’ the action of union minister Jayant Sinha garlanding eight men held guilty of lynching a Muslim trader.
“What Jayant Sinha did was absolutely deplorable, and I would call it disgusting.. if somebody has been kept in jail and just come out on bail,” Swami said in an interview.
“Prime Minister should take a call whether he should continue as a minister,” the BJP leader added.
Sinha has been under fire from all quarters for meeting the convicts in the case of the murder of Alimuddin Ansari, a cattle trader in June 2017, in Bihar.
“The BJP spokesmen defending Jayant Sinha are doing him more harm than good,” noted journalist Tavleen Singh. “No Minister in the Government of India should celebrate lynch mobs. To defend his action on the grounds that the victim was a ‘criminal’ is beyond sick.”
Sinha subsequently hinted that he went to meet them as he was not fully convinced about their guilt, and indicated that the High Court has taken up their appeal.
“I have repeatedly expressed my misgivings about the Fast-Track Court judgement sentencing each accused to life imprisonment,” he had clarified.
Swamy has criticized Jayant Sinha in the past, especially when the latter was seen as pushing for the sale of India’s debt-ridden national carrier, Air India.
Swamy also reacted to comments by Bihar BJP leader Giriraj Singh, who accused the Nitish Kumar government in the state of selectively targeting Hindu activists to ensure communal harmony.
Speaking after meeting Bajrang Dal activists in jail, Singh said Nitish Kumar government’s actions were an insult to the Hindu community.
Swamy, a frequent critic of “anti-Hindu” policies of various state governments, was guarded in his comments on the Giriraj Singh controversy.
“There is a certain amount of freedom all members enjoy to express their views, and when it becomes unpopular, they can get brickbats directly from the people,” he said.