BJP lies exposed as minister claims one lakh love jihad cases, his office puts number at zero

MVA demands Mangal Prabhat Lodha's resignation, apology for lying in Assembly

BJP lies exposed as minister claims one lakh love jihad cases, his office puts number at zero

Sujata Anandan

For the past several weeks, saffron ideologues under the aegis of the Hindu Sakal Samaj have been holding rallies across Maharashtra demanding a law against ‘Love Jihad” in the state.

Minister for women and child welfare Mangal Prabhat Lodha recently told the Assembly that there were one lakh such cases of Hindu girls marrying Muslim boys under duress or false lures across the  state. Now it turns out he has lied.

When Samajwadi Party MLA Riaz Shaikh wrote to the Women and Child Welfare  Commission which Lodha chairs and under which a committee has been constituted to probe love jihad cases, he received a stunning reply. The number of cases were “none” (nirank or zero  in Marathi). National Herald has copies of both his letter and the government’s reply.

This has now created a storm in the state with several members of the Legislative Assembly demanding action against Lodha. Lying to the House constitutes a Breach of Privilege of its members and Shaikh has demanded an abject apology from the minister. Congress MLA and former minister Aslam Sheikh, however, has called outright for his resignation while Nationalist Congress Party spokesperson Clyde Crasto has said since his own department contradicts his statement he must prove beyond reasonable doubt that there are one lakh cases of love jihad in the state or else apologize to the people of Maharashtra.

The BJP has rushed to Lodha’s defence saying they will expose the cases at an appropriate time but now very few are buying that statement. While Lodha has maintained a studious silence, lying seems to be the normal  way for the BJP. Only this week the party tried to pass off  two non-existent characters as the killers of Tipu Sultan, the 18th century ruler of Mysore,  in a bid to change the narrative of how he had fought bitterly for freedom against the British and was killed by the colonial rulers with the help of the Nizam of Hyderabad and the Marathas.

It turned out that Uri Gowda and Nanje Gowda had never ever been born or existed at any point of time in the world but the BJP was attempting to woo Vokkaligas in Karnataka with this fiction ahead of the Assembly elections in the state. The pictures/paintings they had used to depict the two Gowdas turned out to be those of the Maruthu Pandiyar brothers, rulers of Sivaganga in modern day Tamil Nadu, who too fought fiercely against the British. More importantly, the brothers  had an alliance with Tipu Sultan in pursuit of the same goal and thus could hardly have dispatched him from this world before they could defeat the British. They too were killed by the British like Tipu Sultan. 

After the exposè, the BJP pulled down the arches they had erected with those depictions of the Pandiyars as the Gowdas. Karnataka minister Munirathna, also a film producer, who had earlier announced he would make a film on the Gowda Brothers hastily backtracked and shelved the project after Vokkaliga guru Nirmalananda Swami of Adichunchanagiri Mahasamsthana Mutt called out the lie labelling it a historical distortion and mere BJP propaganda.

However, Lodha, a leading Mumbai builder, and the Maharashtra BJP may not have such an easy exit route, given that the Maha Vikas Aghadi has now got its teeth into their bit and is planning a relentless campaign until Lodha, the son of the former chief Justice of the Guwahati High Court, apologises.  “With his background he should have known it is perjury to lie under oath and violation of the Constitutional norms in the country,” said a Congress leader. “He must apologise or face arrest for Breach of Privilege of the House.” 

Clearly, the BJP has not had a very fruitful week in furthering its communal agenda in the country.

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