Suspended BJP MP who called Gandhi ‘father of Pak’ appointed IIMC Prof

The party had suspended him from the party’s primary membership in May 2019 following his remarks. The party said his social media posts were against the party’s ethics, ideas

The BJP had last year said that Saumitra's Facebook posts had affected its image. File Photo

As head of the BJP media cell in Madhya Pradesh, Anil Kumar Saumitra was suspended by the party last year for calling Mahatma Gandhi the “father of Pakistan.” A few days back, Saumitra got his appointment letter as professor at the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC), one of the top institutes in the country, reports The Indian Express.

The BJP had suspended Saumitra from the BJP’s primary membership in May 2019 following his remarks against Mahatma Gandhi. The party said his social media posts were against the party’s ethics, ideas and principles, and had affected its image. He was asked to reply within a week.The

In a Facebook post, Saumitra had said of the Mahatma: “He was father of the nation, but of Pakistan. The country had crores of sons like him, some were worthy, some unworthy.”

“Pakistan was born with the blessings of Bapu, therefore, Mahatma Gandhi can be called the father of Pakistan and not of India,” he had written on a Facebook post on May 16, 2019. The BJP acted swiftly, suspending him from primary membership of the party within a day, and asking him to reply within a week.

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It was the second time that Saumitra had been removed from a party-related post. In 2013, he was editor of Charaiveti, the BJP’s mouthpiece in Madhya Pradesh. He was sacked after the magazine ran an article ‘Church ke nark me nun ka Jeevan’, alleging sexual exploitation of nuns in the Catholic church.

In a letter to Sumitra Mahajan, who was then MP from Indore and president of Pandit Deendayal Vichar Prakashan, Saumitra wrote, “I have been treated like a criminal. I was selected as editor due to my RSS background and ideological commitment”. The letter was also copied to RSS leaders Mohan Bhagwat, Suresh Joshi and Suresh Soni, BJP leaders Rajnath Singh, L K Advani and state leaders including Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

Saumitra’s appointment to the IIMC was confirmed – over 60 applicants were interviewed — by an order on October 26, when he joined the institute as a professor.

The IIMC offer letter sent to him on October 20 stated that his selection had been confirmed after he was interviewed in the first week of September, and that he would be under a two-year probation period from the date of joining.

Saumitra did not respond to calls and text messages, said The Indian Express. Asked about the appointment, IIMC Director General Sanjay Dwivedi said, “No comment.”

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