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Narendra Modi at International Yoga Day: Can he afford to look the other way in the hope that time will take care of everything?PIB India

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, known for practising yoga, led by example on 21 June on International Yoga Day by performing different asanas at Rajpath in New Delhi to exhort his countrymen and women to practise yoga to remain healthy.

But little did he realise his partymen were hell-bent on performing a completely different asana — for the sake of convenience, let's call it "absurd-asana" — without realising its political fallout.

The 65-year-old Lok Sabha member from Varanasi, perceived as the Bhartiya Janata Party's (BJP's) Hindutva poster boy (at least till he was elected), is now a victim of Hindutva-vaadi motormouths, even as the Congress-led Opposition spearheads a campaign against him to project his regime as intolerant.

On 2 November, Karnataka BJP leader S N Channabasappa joined the ever-growing list of party motormouths by threatening to "behead" the state's chief minister Siddaramaiah for his beef comment; Siddaramaiah had said a week ago, none can stop him from having beef or pork if he wanted to.

The Congress government in the state was quick to act, arresting Channabasappa, former president of the Shivamogga City Municipal Council, a day later, under Sections 153 (wanton provocation with intent to cause riot), 353 (assault or use of criminal force to deter a public servant from discharge of duty) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code.

Giving Channabasappa company are BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya (@KailashOnline), Lok Sabha members from Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath (@yogi_adityanath), Sakshi Maharaj, Union minister Mahesh Sharma (@dr_maheshsharma) and Bihar leader and Union minister Giriraj Singh (@girirajsinghbjp).

Each one is doing his bit to embarrass Modi and his government at the Centre and, in the process, giving his opponents enough ammunition to attack him.

Kailash Vijayvargiya made his modest contribution to the campaign with his response to film star Shah Rukh Khan's comment on "extreme intolerance" prevailing in India by saying: "It seems he (Shah Rukh Khan) lives in India but his soul is in Pakistan".

"Aisa lagta hai, woh rahte hain Hindustan mein, lekin unka aatma Pakistan mein hai," Vijayvargiya told The Indian Express.

No wonder, the Trinamool Congress latched on to it, as Vijayvargiya is also the BJP's in-charge for West Bengal.

"Sickening remarks against @iamsrk by BJP national gen sec also in charge of Bengal.What attitude is this: everyone is bad & only u r good? (sic)" tweeted Trinamool Congress leader Derek O'Brien.

So embarrassing was Vijayvargiya's comment that senior BJP leader Prakash Javdekar was prompted to say: "I condemn it outright."

His comments disowned by his own party leaders, Vijayvargiya was forced to retract, saying they were "misconstrued".

Not to be left behind, Lok Sabha member from Gorakhpur Yogi Adityanath compared Shah Rukh Khan to 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed.

"I say these people are speaking the language of terror. I think there is no difference in the language of Shah Rukh Khan and Hafiz Saeed. We invite people to go there (Pakistan). People who defame India will then at least understand their own position," said Adityanath.

The Congress was scathing in its reaction. "If you have views against the dispensation of this country, you go to Pakistan. Anybody wants to tweet something, he has to go to Pakistan. Are they trying to promote Pakistan tourism?" asked Congress leader Tom Vadakkan, according to PTI.

Another firebrand leader, Sadhvi Prachi, vented her anger in trademark Hindutva style on Tuesday, dubbing Shah Rukh Khan a "Pakistani agent".

Earlier, Mahesh Sharma, by calling the lynching of Mohammad Akhlaq over rumours that he had beef at home, an "unfortunate accident", had led the Opposition to close ranks to take on the BJP.

Modi has been conspicuous by his silence to these irresponsible comments, probably hoping these issues will die down over time; even when he has responded, it has been largely perceived as vague. For instance, his response to the Dadri lynching came a week after the incident at an election rally in Bihar, where he said: "Hindus must decide whether they want to fight Muslims or poverty. Muslims must decide whether they want to fight Hindus or poverty."

Such a vague response after a prolonged silence probably sent the wrong signals and emboldened his partymen, who have now spiralled out of control.

Why are Modi's own party men behaving the way they are, when they know well that far from doing any good, their comments are damaging the party's reputation, forcing veteran leaders such as Arun Jaitley and Venkaiah Naidu to firefight, instead of focusing on governance?

Is it because these motormouths are seeking attention in a party that has increasingly become synonymous with just two leaders — Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah?

[Disclaimer: The writer is a senior journalist with IBT. This article reflects the writer's personal opinion and does not necessarily represent the views of IBTimes India.]