Red faced BJP cancels Muthalik’s membership
Having its plate full with increasing incidents of internal strife in the party, the BJP on Sunday almost scored a self-goal by inducting Pramod Muthalik, the controversial chief of Hindu outfit Sri Ram Sene into the party. This led to a countrywide outrage against the move forcing the central leadership to cancel Muthalik’s membership within hours of his induction.
Muthalik had joined the BJP in Karnataka earlier in the day, insisting he wanted to strengthen the hands of its PM candidate Narendra Modi. However, by evening, BJP spokesperson issued a statement, saying the Sri Ram Sene chief’s BJP membership was being cancelled. ‘The central BJP has clearly rejected the membership of Muthalik,’ party spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said. The move to induct Muthalik was slammed by Congress saying that BJP leaders, including Sushma Swaraj, have been talking about women’s empowerment but their party was now ‘glaringly opposing women’s emancipation.’ Party leader Ambika Soni said people should send a firm message in the coming election that ‘any party which honours, appeases people who publicly violate the self respect and dignity of women are not going to be tolerated.’
‘You can see this is height of opportunism and I think that women across the country should take a very decisive call on this,’ said Soni. Muthalik, who heads Sri Ram Sene was allegedly involved in violent incidents against women and attacks on churches in Karnataka’s coastal districts. In January 2009, Muthalik’s supporters indulged in ‘moral policing’ by attacking young women going to pubs and bars in Mangalore, about 350 km from Bangalore.