Bahujan Samaj Party MP Kunwar Danish Ali – the target of an Islamophobic rant in Parliament last week by the BJP’s Ramesh Bidhuri – wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday asking him to “break his silence” and take steps towards “upholding and protecting parliamentary decorum”. He also inverted claims by another BJP MP – Nishikant Dubey – who said Mr Bidhuri’s use of communal slurs was due to his (Mr Ali) use of casteist terms against the PM. Mr Ali said it was the BJP MP who used “inappropriate language when referring to you (the PM)” and that he had “raised an objection to the use of such language…”
“It is evident from House proceedings that none of the members of the ruling party objected to my stance against the use of unparliamentary language against you. However, when I rose and pointed out Shri Bidhuri’s use of unparliamentary language towards you, he got rattled and reacted strongly, possible realising his mistake,” Danish Ali wrote.
“… world is watching India more closely,” Mr Ali told Prime Minister Modi, who has not spoken on the row and whose party has, so far, not disciplined its member. “In your capacity as Leader of the House and Prime Minister of our great nation, I trust you would find it deeply concerning Shri Ramesh Bidhuri Hon’ble MP, resorted to unparliamentary and abusive language.”
READ | “How Can This Be Allowed?” Danish Ali Releases Video After BJP MP’s Attack
In a three-page letter, he asked the PM for a statement “condemning such behaviour” and to remind all members to maintain the “highest standards of decorum and conduct”. “… whole world looks on us as torchbearer of democracy,” he wrote.
दुनिया देख रही है…. आप इस बार भी ख़ामोश हैं!
Today, I wrote a letter to Hon’ble Prime Minister and the leader of #LokSabha Shri @narendramodi ji, requesting him to uphold and protect the parliamentary decorum, break his silence, as the world is watching India more closely. pic.twitter.com/0t4I4fggJG
— Kunwar Danish Ali (@KDanishAli) September 29, 2023
Mr Ali also asked for Mr Bidhuri to be held accountable “(for his) reprehensible conduct” and that he be punished. Finally, the BSP lawmaker also asked for strengthened security arrangements given the “barrage of threats from various sources”.
The BSP member also claimed a “continuous effort to damage my reputation”; Mr Ali, in response to accusations by Mr Dubey and another BJP MP, Ravi Kisan Shukla, had earlier said he feared a “narrative for (his) physical lynching” was being created.
READ | “Creating Narrative For My Lynching”: MP Danish Ali On BJP Leader’s Letter
Mr Ali further claimed that unknown individuals had sent him “threatening and menacing messages” after the confrontation in Parliament and he attached screenshots of these texts.
Ramesh Bidhuri hasn’t commented on this row, except to leave its resolution to his party and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, who has received complaints from opposition leaders. Mr Birla had only warned of “strict action” on repeat of such behaviour.
BJP, Opposition Trade Complaints
On Thursday the BJP and the opposition each filed complaints with Parliament’s Privileges Committee. Mr Dubey and Mr Kisan sent in notices for the BJP after Mr Ali and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam MP Kanimozhi sent in theirs.
READ | BJP, Opposition Trade Parliament Panel Complaints Over BSP MP Attack: 10 Points
Opposition anger over Mr Bidhuri’s slurs escalated after it emerged the BJP had sent him to Rajasthan’s Tonk to lead the party’s campaign in the district for the November election. The BJP’s move – seen by many as an attempt to remove Mr Bidhuri from the spotlight till the fury dies down – was slammed as “reward for hate” by the opposition.
Mr Ali, speaking to NDTV after the outburst, said the incident had “shamed the country” and, in a moment of prescience, said, “We will see if his party will take action or promote him.” The BSP leader also said he had been left traumatised by the attack.
The BJP MP met party boss JP Nadda in Delhi this week. That was two days before he was re-deployed to Rajasthan.
The face-off between Ramesh Bidhuri and Danish Ali in Lok Sabha was during a discussion on the success of India’s Chandrayaan-3 Moon mission.