Jailed Goshamahal MLA Raja Singh blames Google, Munawar Faruqui for his remarks on Prophet

In his response to the BJP show-cause notice over his Prophet remarks, Goshamahal MLA says he used 'information provided on Google'.

ByAjay Tomar

Published Oct 12, 2022 | 4:31 PMUpdatedOct 12, 2022 | 10:25 PM

Raja Singh (left) with Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and BJP Telangana President Bandi Sanjay. The Goshamahal MLA, suspened by the BJP after his Prophet remarks, has now responded to the show-cause notice

The jailed Goshamahal MLA T Raja Singh, in his response to the show-cause notice of the BJP Central Disciplinary Committee, blamed Google and stand-up comedian Munawar Faruqui for his remarks on Prophet Mohammad in August.

Raja Singh on 23 August was suspended by the BJP over his Prophet remarks.

He wrote, “I only imitated Munawar Faruqui, that too based on information provided on Google. Soon after the show, I made a video to make people understand how Munwar Faruqui does his show. I neither hurt any religion’s sentiments nor hurt any religion.”

Raja Singh was arrested before Faruqui’s show in Hyderabad on 19 August as the Goshamahal MLA had threatened to burn down the venue alleging the comedian had “insulted Bhagwan Ram and Maa Sita”.

He was arrested on 23 August by the Hyderabad police but received bail as proper legal procedure was not followed. He was re-arrested two days later by the police.

‘It is BJP that rakes up communal divide’: TRS

Raja Singh also accused the TRS and AIMIM of “provoking people on communal lines”.

The TRS called it a false allegation.

“He is attacking us only to save his skin. People know what he spoke. The BJP gave him a chance to respond when everything is black and white,” Ravula Sridhar Reddy, chairman of the Telangana State Education and Welfare Infrastructure Development Corporation and member of TRS, told South First.

“Whether it is a Hindu or a Muslim, spreading communal hatred is wrong. That is what the TRS and the Telangana government believe in,” he added.

Putta Vishnuvardhan Reddy of the TRS called the remarks by Raja Singh an attempt at damage control.

“It is the BJP that rakes up the communal divide. It is his (Raja Singh’s) attempt at damage control since if the party goes overboard, it will again be at the receiving end of international shame just like it happened during the Nupur Sharma episode,” he told South First.

Vishnuvardhan Reddy claimed that the fact that Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and BJP Telangana President Bandi Sanjay were speaking about tantrik vidya (exorcism) showed that they do not have anything else to offer to the people of Telangana.

The BJP leaders had alleged last week that the Telangana chief minister was taking decisions such as renaming the party, not going to the state Secretariat, and not inducting woman MLAs into the Cabinet based on the advice of tantriks.

‘False cases foisted against me by TRS at behest of AIMIM’

Raja Singh became the first legislator from the Telugu-speaking states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh against whom the Preventive Detention (PD) Act was invoked.

Raja Singh

Hyderabad police have named Raja Singh ‘Rowdy Sheeter’ of Mangalhat and termed him a habitual offender (Supplied)

While claiming that he never violated the BJP code of conduct, Raja Singh said that he has been “relentlessly fighting against the atrocities of the AIMIM and its partner TRS”.

Accusing AIMIM MP Asaduddin Owaisi and the TRS of winning elections by provoking communal sentiments, Singh alleged, “The AIMIM has been troubling the minority Hindu population [in his constituency] with the support of the TRS now and the Congress before 2014.”

He said that he has “never criticised the Muslim community”.

“Whenever I criticise the MIM for its communal politics, they are creating an impression that I have been criticising Muslims. Since the word ‘Muslim’ is part of Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslmeen (MIM), they are alleging that I am criticising the entire Muslim community,” he noted.

Related: Raja Singh, the controversial leader who put BJP in a conundrum

‘What else can Raja Singh say to defend himself’

Political scientist G Haragopal told South First that if Raja Singh has to sustain himself in his Assembly constituency (the Hindu-dominated Goshamahal), he has to attack the TRS and AIMIM.

“Ever since he entered politics, he is known for his aggressive language. That is the reason why he is always at the centre of controversy. In the last elections, only he won from the BJP,” he noted.

“What else can he say other than blaming the TRS and AIMIM when the court is asking for answers. He cannot confess as he will be punished under law,” Haragopal pointed out, adding that his legal adviser would have also asked him to draft these remarks.

He added, “It is a standard reply of a BJP member, that it is a reaction to Muslim fundamentalism. This is the BJP’s language, style, and approach. One fundamentalism reinforces another fundamentalism. That’s how it incites communal hatred.”

About the BJP suspending Raja Singh, Haragopal said, “The BJP was compelled to take action as the whole Islamic world reacts when something is said against the Prophet.”

Sridhar Reddy of the TRS said, “The suspension itself is a big drama. They gave him a chance to respond when everything is black and white. The BJP legal cell fights for him. All the BJP second-rung leaders have spoken in favour of Raja Singh and formed groups to support him.”

‘People have become bored of BJP rhetoric’

Asked about the BJP allegation that the TRS and AIMIM are working together, Sridhar Reddy said, “Many times, the honourable Telangana chief minister has said the MIM is a friendly party. It doesn’t mean we work hand in glove on a daily basis. It has become a practice for the BJP to make such allegations as they have no other agenda. People have become bored of this rhetoric.”

Vishnuvardhan Reddy of the TRS wondered how the AIMIM was winning in other states including saffron strongholds if the TRS was to blame for supporting the party.

“How did the AIMIM win seats in Gujarat and Bihar? Was KCR there too with them?” he said, adding that the BJP is using AIMIM as a stooge to spread communalism.

The AIMIM won five seats in the 2020 Bihar Assembly elections and 17 seats in three municipalities of Gujarat.

“The BJP and Raja Singh are good at polarising as they only talk about communalism and not the welfare of the people,” Reddy alleged.

If the TRS was supporting the AIMIM, how has the latter been restricted to Hyderabad and not expanded to other regions of Telangana, he wondered.