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With Prophet Remarks, Has King of Controversies Raja 'Tiger' Singh Bit off More Than He Can Chew?

By: Rohini Swamy & Kakoli Mukherjee


Last Updated: August 25, 2022, 17:08 IST

Hyderabad, India

Raja Singh was suspended from the BJP on Tuesday amid outrage over his controversial remarks against Prophet. (PTI/File)

Raja Singh was suspended from the BJP on Tuesday amid outrage over his controversial remarks against Prophet. (PTI/File)

From threatening to behead those who opposed the Ram Temple to calling for Rohingya refugees to be shot, Telangana BJP MLA Raja Singh has garnered attention for one inflammatory speech after another

Controversial Telangana BJP MLA Tiger Raja Naval Singh Lodh has been known to stir up a controversy each time he speaks. From threatening to behead those who opposed the Ram Temple and raze the houses of Uttar Pradesh voters who did not vote for Yogi Adityanath to calling for Rohingyas to be shot in the head, Singh has garnered attention for one inflammatory speech after another.

But following his alleged derogatory remarks against Prophet Mohammad earlier this week, the BJP decided to take action against the rabble-rouser politician, suspending him from the party and issuing a show cause notice. MLA from Hyderabad’s suburban constituency Gosha Mahal, Raja Singh was arrested by the Hyderabad Police on Tuesday this week for the alleged remarks, but hours later he was granted bail.

On Thursday, Singh was again picked up by Hyderabad Police from his residence. The police have now invoked the Preventive Detention Act against Singh.

Singh has more than 100 criminal cases booked against him, mostly for hate and provocative speeches, and disruption of law and order.


Always seen clad in saffron and wearing a tilak on his forehead, Raja Singh is equally popular in the areas of Goshamahal, Mangalhat and Dhoolpet in central Hyderabad. The two-time MLA has a stronghold over the dominant Lodha community in his constituency and is known to call himself a “dedicated Gau Rakshak”, claiming to have saved “thousands of cows” in Hyderabad.

In an earlier interview with News18, Singh had spoken about his connection with the RSS and how he had been deeply entrenched in the Hindutva philosophy even though he may have been with the TDP. Singh joined the BJP in 2013 and contested in 2014 on a BJP ticket. He has won the seat twice since then for the party.

Tiger Singh, as he is popularly called, was the only sitting BJP MLA in the December 2018 Assembly elections which the TRS won in a landslide victory and is presently one of the three sitting MLAs of the BJP in the Telangana Assembly. In the 2014 elections, Singh won his Gosha Mahal seat by a margin of 46,793 votes. His victory margin in 2018 was 17,734 votes.


It was Raja Singh who first voiced the demand for Hyderabad to be renamed Bhagyanagar, a campaign that has become an integral part of the BJP’s agenda in Telangana. In 2018, Singh said that the BJP’s first aim will be developing the state of Telangana and the second will be renaming Hyderabad as Bhagyanagar. “We will also change the names of Secunderabad and Karimnagar,” he had said at the time.

However, his statements, most of them provocative, have not only attracted arrests and FIRs under the Indian Penal Code, but he has also faced suspension by the social media platform Facebook.

In June this year, Raja Singh allegedly offended the 12th-century Sufi saint Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti of Ajmer of Rajasthan, claiming that if Hindus who are now visiting the dargah knew the truth behind it, they would stop visiting or bowing their heads. “These days, a lot of Hindus are visiting Ajmer Dargah. I challenge you, when you know the truth you will not go there or bow your head there. Prithviraj Chouhan’s wife was thrown out of this dargah to be raped by the soldiers,” he had claimed.

On April 9, when a procession to celebrate Ram Navami was carried out, Singh was part of it and used abusive language to demand boycott of Muslim traders. Calling Muslims “gaddars” (traitors), Singh asked people to boycott those who refuse to sing Vande Mataram.

Days later, on April 23, the BJP legislator wrote a letter to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), asking them to remove all “non-Hindu religious constructions” in and around Sri Jogulamba temple in Gadwal. Or the BJP “will do the needful when it comes to power in Telangana in 2023”, he had threatened.

In March, along with fellow BJP MLAs M Raghunandan Rao and Etela Rajender, Raja Singh was suspended until the end of the Budget Session as they had planned to protest against the TRS’s budget.

In February, the Election Commission of India pulled up the BJP leader for his alleged comment intimidating voters in Uttar Pradesh to vote in favour of Yogi Adityanath or “face action”. “Those who do not vote for the BJP, I want to tell them that Yogiji has called for thousands of bulldozers to be stationed in Uttar Pradesh. The areas that did not vote for Yogiji will be identified after the elections and you know what JCB bulldozers are used for. Let me tell those traitors of Uttar Pradesh to vote in favour of Yogiji. You will have to chant ‘Yogi-Yogi’ or else you will be forced to leave the state,” Singh had allegedly threatened in a video, days before UP elections.

In 2020, social media giant Facebook termed Singh a “dangerous individual” who had been violating its policy on content, promoting violence and hate. In its statement, Facebook said it had banned him “for violating our policy prohibiting those that promote or engage in violence and hate from having a presence on our platform. The process for evaluating potential violators is extensive and it is what led us to our decision to remove his account.”

Singh later claimed his account was hacked and that he had not been on Facebook since 2019.

During the peak of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) protests across the country, Raja Singh made a statement threatening to kill the “Owaisi brothers” — AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi and his brother Akbaruddin Owaisi — and also “bring an end” to those who opposed CAA and NRC. A year before that, the MLA threatened to force all Bangladeshis and Rohingyas living in India to leave the country “at gunpoint”.

During a meeting of the Hindu Dharma Sansad in Karnataka’s Udupi in 2017, Singh in his speech said “every Hindu should have a sword in his hand”. That same year, he called for the “beheading of those who oppose the Ram temple”, leading to tensions across the state.

In the backdrop of the 2015 Dadri lynching episode in which a Muslim man was killed on suspicion of possessing beef, Raja Singh threatened a similar fate if the students of Osmania University in Hyderabad continued with their plans to organise a beef festival on campus. “I am warning them, that there will be another Dadri-like situation in Telangana. We can give our lives and take lives too,” Singh was purportedly heard saying in a video.


Raja Singh’s arrest on Tuesday comes in the background of the remark he made in a video released just before stand-up comedian Munawar Faruqui’s performance in Hyderabad.

Despite threats from Singh that he would disrupt the show and amidst tight security, Faruqui performed on August 20. The stand-up comedian performed his act ‘Dongri to Nowhere’ in front of a full-house attendance in Hyderabad’s Shilpa Kala Vedika with nearly 500 police personnel present at the location.

In a 10-minute video, Singh says he has “researched about Faruqui’s almighty and his followers who wear skull caps” and goes on to make remarks derogatory to Prophet Mohammed, similar to the ones made by suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma in a televised debate few months ago.

Singh was arrested on Tuesday morning, hours after Muslim organisations took to the streets to protest his statements. But the BJP leader defended himself, claiming that it was a “comedy video” and that he had made no mention of the Prophet.

Talking to News18, TRS leader Krishank said: “What Raja Singh said is the same as Nupur Sharma’s views. Does the BJP endorse its MLA’s statements? If not, then he should be suspended too. It looks like BJP’s attempt is orchestrated and politically motivated as the whole agenda is to try to disturb the law and order. Telangana is living in peace and the BJP cannot digest this. Their modus operandi is to instigate communal disharmony and benefit politically."

Countering the TRS, BJP spokesperson Krishna Sagar Rao said: “The BJP, as a national party, does not believe in discourse of hate and abuse. We treat and respect all religions equally. Raja Singh is not an office-bearer of the BJP. He is an elected representative. He has the freedom of speech, but he has no freedom to abuse."

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first published:August 23, 2022, 16:32 IST
last updated:August 25, 2022, 17:08 IST