BJP suspends MLA Raja Singh from party after arrest for Prophet remarks
The BJP on Tuesday suspended its Telangana MLA T Raja Singh for allegedly making controversial remarks targeting Prophet Mohammad, hours after he was arrested by the police.
The MLA was arrested by the Hyderabad police commissioner’s Task Force from his residence.
In a notice to Singh, Om Pathak, a member secretary of the Central Disciplinary Committee, said, “You have expressed views contrary to the party’s position on various matters, which is in clear violation of Rule XXV. 10 (a) of constitution of the Bharatiya Janata Party. I have been directed to convey to you that pending further inquiry, you are suspended from the party and from your responsibilities/assignments if any, with immediate effect.”
Singh’s controversial video
On Monday, the BJP MLA released a video criticising stand-up comedian Munawar Faruqui, who recently performed in the city. Singh is also purportedly seen making some comments against the religion in it. Several people belonging to the community staged protests in various parts of the city on Monday night demanding Singh’s arrest.
On Sunday, Singh had threatened to disrupt an event by comic Faruqui in Hyderabad. He was kept under house arrest till the show was over while BJP and BJYM activities who tried to disrupt the event at the Shilpa Kala Vedika were arrested by police on Sunday evening, reports said.
Pathak also asked Singh to show cause within 10 days from the date of the notice as to why should he not be expelled from the party.
Earlier, G Koteshwara Rao, a local police officer, said Singh was booked under the Indian Penal Code’s Sections including 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion).
In his police complaint, activist Wajihudiddin Salman said Singh used vulgar language against the Prophet in a video uploaded on a YouTube channel named “Sree Ram Channel, Telangana” late on Monday night. The video was later removed.
Scores of slogan-shouting workers of MP Asaduddin Owaisi-led All India Majlis-e-Itehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) staged a sit-in in front of the Hyderabad Police chief’s office demanding Singh’s immediate arrest. They threatened to intensify protests if Singh, who is often in the news for his inflammatory speeches, was not arrested within 24 hours.
Police detained some protestors as they tried to barge into the commissioner’s office. Amanullah Khan, a local leader, said over 200 Muslims were arrested while staging protests against Singh.
Singh says he did not name anyone
Singh, however, has maintained that his remarks were solely directed at Faruqui and not against a particular religion.
“I do not understand on what basis the police registered the FIR because I did not take the name of any particular community. My video was aimed at Faruqui and I stand by my words, and I did not hurt anyone’s sentiments. This was the first part of the video, there will be a second video too,” he was quoted as telling the media.