Hours after stories and pictures went viral of the appointment of Shikhar Agarwal, an accused in Bulandshehar violence and murder of police inspector Subodh Kumar for the PM Welfare Scheme campaign, the Bharatiya Janata Party has clarified that it has nothing to do with any such organization and the party does not endorse such people in any way.
Agarwal, out on bail for the 2018 violence, was recently allegedly felicitated and appointed for the key campaign by BJP district president.
Speaking to media, BJP Regional Chief, Anil Sisodia said, “I have to come to know about the issue today about appointment of Shikhar Agarwal in some organisation. Some renowned businessmen of the district are running the organisation and I went there as a guest. The BJP has nothing to do with any such organisation. Our party always believes in clean politics and we always maintain distance from people who have been accused of such serious charges. The organisation should not have appointed such people if they really want to work for the society.”
However, Shikhar Agarwal said BJP has recognised his hard work by giving him such a responsibility. “The party has seen my public image and my hard work, the organisation Pradhan Mantri Jan Kalyankari Abhiyan Yojana, its regional chief Pritam Kumar and district chief Yatendra Kumar has given me this responsibility and it will be done with full commitment. We will be going from door to door to explain the work and schemes by the Prime Minister. My only aim to accept this post is to help people with the welfare schemes run for them by the central government.”
Speaking to media on the issue, Western UP Chief of Pradhan Mantri Jan Kalyankari Yojana Jagrukta Abhiyan, Yatendra Sen has claimed that he wasn’t aware of the fact that Shikhar Agarwal was out on bail.
“First of all I would like to make it clear that BJP and our organisation are not connected to each other in any way. We are an organisation who handle welfare schemes run by central government. We have on board seven cabinet ministers and BJP National Vice President Shyam Jaju in our organisation. The BJP district chief was present in the programme as a guest and that is why he was handing over the appointment letter. The committee wasn’t aware of the fact that Shikhar Agarwal was out on bail and I thank the media for clarifying the situation. I have appraised our senior leaders of the situation,” he said.
The letter announcing appointment of Agarwal as Bulandshahr District Mahamantri along with pictures of him have now gone viral on social media. The letter allegedly written by Priyatam Kumar (Prem), District Chief Bulandshahr, is dated July 14 and says as per the directives of Western Uttar Pradesh Chief Yatendra Kumar Jain, Agarwal has been appointed as the Mahamantri for the campaign.
Last year in August, six accused who were released on bail for Bulandshahr violence, were welcomed with slogans of ‘Jai Shri Ram’, ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’, and ‘Vande Mataram’ outside the district jail. In a video shared by news agency ANI on Twitter, the key accused Agarwal and Jeetu Fauji were seen being welcomed by their supporters amid cheers. The viral video also showed them garlanding the accused and taking turns to take photos and selfies with them.