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BJP Denies Rajya Sabha Ticket to Ram Mandir Campaigner, Picks 2 Turncoats Instead

The BJP released a list of 18 candidates from various states for the upper house of the Parliament, but Katiyar’s name was missing from it. Among the eight candidates chosen from Uttar Pradesh, former SP leaders, Ashok Bajpai and Harnath Singh Yadav, were also a part of the list.

Qazi Faraz Ahmad | News18@qazifarazahmad

Updated:March 12, 2018, 3:28 PM IST
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BJP Denies Rajya Sabha Ticket to Ram Mandir Campaigner, Picks 2 Turncoats Instead
A file picture of BJP leader Vinay Katiyar.
Lucknow: Days after senior BJP MP Vinay Katiyar suggested that “Muslims should not stay in the country”, the saffron party has decided to set him aside and instead give Rajya Sabha ticket to two Samajwadi party turncoats.

The BJP released a list of 18 candidates from various states for the upper house of the Parliament, but Katiyar’s name was missing from it. Among the eight candidates chosen from Uttar Pradesh, former SP leaders Ashok Bajpai and Harnath Singh Yadav were also a part of the list.

Bajpai, who was once considered quite close to SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav, quit his Vidhan Parishad seat last year to join the BJP. Interestingly, Bajpai’s name was preferred over some senior leaders like Sudhanshu Trivedi and Laxmikant Bajpai, who were also in the race for Rajya Sabha seat. On the other hand, Yadav had left Samajwadi Party just a few days ahead of Lok Sabha elections in 2014.

A total of 10 Rajya Sabha seats are getting vacant from Uttar Pradesh.

Speaking to News18, the BJP MP said that he will follow the words of the saffron party collectively. “I don’t want to comment on the Rajya Sabha candidate list. I have already been a Member of Parliament for five years -- two times from Rajya Sabha and three times from Lok Sabha. I will follow whatever the party asks me to do. Right now, I cannot discuss my political plans, you will have to wait and watch.”

The former BJP state president was elected as a member of Lok Sabha from the Faizabad (Ayodhya) constituency in 1991, 1996 and 1999 and is currently a member of Rajya sabha from Uttar Pradesh.

The saffron party’s MP, who is one of the key campaigners for a Ram temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya, is known for his controversial remarks.

Five days ago, the 63-year-old leader had said, “Muslims should not stay in this country. They have partitioned the country on the basis of population. So why are they here? Muslims have been given their share. They should go to Bangladesh or Pakistan... they have no business being in India.”

Earlier, the leader had said that the Ram temple in Ayodhya will be constructed on the spot where “Ram Lala” is resting.

“We are waiting for the court verdict, but I will like to say that our Ram temple, for sure, will come up at the place where Ram Lala is resting...He (Ram idol) will continue (to remain) on the spot,” he said, adding, "That land belongs to Lord Ram."

Katiyar had also claimed that Taj Mahal stands at the site of a temple and suggested that it should be re-named Tejo Mandir.

Enraged over the leader’s statements, more than 70 social activists had demanded Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu in February to revoke the membership of the leader from the Upper House ‘for violating the Constitution’.
In a letter to Naidu, they alleged that Katiyar’s ‘hate speech’ was the recent example as several BJP MPs and MLAs have been repeatedly making remarks and threatening the secular fabric of the country.

The senior BJP leader is the founder member and president of Bajrang Dal, an affiliate and youth wing of Vishwa Hindu Parishad. He is one of the top BJP leaders who are facing charges in the Supreme Court for criminal conspiracy in Babri Masjid-Ayodhya Ram Temple issue.

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| Edited by: Sumedha Kirti
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