BJP Leaders Ask Why Install 'Terrorist' Lenin's Statue; Opposition Outraged by 'Fascist Onslaught'
BJP leader Subramanian Swamy said the Russian Communist revolutionary was "a terrorist" and questioned if the statue of such a person could be installed in India.
The Lenin statue was pulled down in the heart of Belonia town in South Tripura on Monday, March 5. (Twitter)
New Delhi: Even as several opposition leaders tore into BJP over their alleged involvement in taking down the statue of Lenin in Tripura, several BJP ministers defended the act saying it was a mark of protest against communism.
BJP leader Subramanian Swamy said the late Russian leader was "a terrorist" and questioned if the statue of such a person could be installed in India.
A statue of Communist revolutionary Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, better known as Lenin, was brought down by alleged BJP supporters using a JCB amid chants of 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai'. The statue stood at the centre of College Square in the heart of Belonia town in South Tripura.
Speaking to reporters outside the Parliament, Swamy also suggested the Communist leaders should install Lenin's statue inside their party headquarters and "worship" him if they want.
"Lenin was a foreigner. He was, in a way, a terrorist because the number of people he killed there (in Russia) after imposing dictatorship there. And (you) want statue of such a person erected in our country?" Swamy asked.
BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav shared an image on Twitter and wrote, "People taking down Lenin’s statue ... not in Russia; it is in Tripura. ‘Chalo Paltai’ (sic)." The leader later deleted the tweet after facing severe criticism for supporting vandalism.
Union minister Giriraj Singh took the defense to another level and said people who were "oppressed" during the Left's 25-year rule in Tripura might have brought down a statue of communist icon Vladimir Lenin in the state.
"The Bharatiya Janata Party or its ideology does not propagate violence but the Left does," the BJP leader asserted.
On the other hand, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury too criticised the BJP-RSS and urged the democratic and secular forces of the country to come together against the “fascist onslaught” of the saffron regime. Without mentioning the Congress party, Yechury underlined the need for the broadest possible platform of the Left and democratic forces in the country to counter the BJP-RSS.
Yechury said, “We are going to launch nationwide protest against the act.”
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan also condemned the alleged violence unleashed against LDF workers in Tripura was part of a "conspiracy" at the national level to target communists.
The violence followed the BJP's victory in the recently concluded Assembly elections in the northeast state, where a 25-year Communist government was ousted.
Strongly condemning the attacks against LDF workers, Vijayan said the BJP-RSS should not think that communists would cease to exist "just by pulling down four statues."
"It is wishful thinking that they could wipe out communists from the country… the violence is part of a conspiracy at the national level to target communists," he added.
Meanwhile, Union Minister of State for Home Hansraj Gangaram Ahir also voiced an opinion similar to those of Swamy and Giriraj and said that though the government condemns all kinds of violence, statues of foreign leaders have no place in India.
"We condemn all kinds of violence and the state government is handling the situation. But I want to make it clear that statues of foreign leaders are not required in India. I don't want to take anyone's name but I want to say that we have no place for them," Ahir told PTI in response to a question about Lenin's statue being pulled down.
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