The BJP just cannot seem to escape making ridiculous and controversial statements, with the latest coming from an MLA in Karnataka. Basanagouda Patil Yatnal, the MLA from Vijayapura stirred up a huge controversy when he said he would have shot intellectuals if he was the Union Home Minister.
Speaking at an event to commemorate the Kargil Vijay Diwas in the district, Yatnal branded liberals and intellectuals as "anti-nationals". "These people (intellectuals) live in this country and use all the facilities for which we pay tax. Then they raise slogans against the Indian Army. Our country faces grave danger from intellectuals and seculars than anyone else," he added on Thursday.
He got a loud cheer when he proclaimed "If I become the Home Minister, then I will order to shoot all of them."
Following his statements, the Congress and JD(S) came down heavily on the MLA and pushed the state government to take action against him. While local BJP leaders have refrained from commenting on the issue, the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) has slammed the Modi government for allowing to let lawmakers get away with such statements. Calling it "a reflection of the BJP mindset", the KPCC asked the party and state government to take action.
He also made headlines when earlier he told local municipal members from the BJP not to help Muslims. Yatnal, who has been a BJP MLA since 1994 before becoming the MP from Bijapur in 1999, where he served till 2009. Under the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, he was the minister of state for Textiles and Railways between 2002 and 2004.
With the 2019 general elections around the corner, BJP lawmakers all around the country have come under fire for their statements, promoting Hindutva and assigning the blame for issues like rape and lynching to other parties, rather than taking action.
Surendra Singh, a BJP MLA from Uttar Pradesh has made the news very frequently for his ridiculous statements. On Thursday, he made headlines when he told ANI: "It is the desire of every spiritual leader (mahant) for every couple to have a minimum of five children. This way the population will be under control, and Hindutva would remain intact."