But seriously, I agree with Retributions regarding what the BJP needs to do now:
If the charges against junior Gandhi are proven, then BJP should have no hesitation in dropping him from its candidate list. After all, even BJP leaders have strongly condemned his remarks. Surely, they should have no problems in taking the next logical step.
In recent days, BJP has been repeatedly embarrassed by people who claim they owe allegiance to the same ideology. In each such case, BJP has claimed that it has no association with such people. Well, that may be true. But in this particular case, Varun Gandhi is the official candidate of the party. By dropping him, BJP will prove its detractors wrong who claim that while the party condemns the likes of Muthalik, it tacitly endorses them. [Retributions]
The only minor correction I would make is that this hot potato should be dropped without waiting for charges to be proven. The video evidence looks rather solid (search YouTube for plenty of copies). By taking action now, the Party can claim the moral high ground and then take other parties to task over their shortcomings. Waiting for proof is a good thing for the legal system, not for political parties fighting a PR battle.
This other observation, also on INI platform, by Offstumped is beyond my understanding:
It should not baffle anyone that Varun Gandhi should play the victimhood card in an election, after all playing victim has been the trademark of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty in soliciting votes starting with Indira Gandhi’s victimhood to Sonia Gandhi’s second sacrifice. [Offstumped]
Uh, what? That doesn’t make sense at all. The kind of victimhood card Varun Gandhi was caught playing is actually the trademark of the extreme Right (read: some sections of BJP) in India.
Unlike Offstumped, I don’t find it “heartening to note that both Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Shahnawaz Hussain have been fielded to disown Varun Gandhi’s remarks” either. If the BJP thinks that Muslims will only listen to Muslim leaders, how is it any different from the rest of the political parties? Fielding Muslim members of the party to defend it against charges of being anti-Muslim is actually quite communal in itself, and puts the party right where it doesn’t want to be – in the company of other communal parties. It might just be the street-smart thing to do, but surely it is not something “heartening”!
The issue should have been clarified either at the level of the projected Parliamentary leader, or at the level of the Party President, and action taken at the earliest without waiting for Election Commission’s decision. It could still be win-win for BJP if action is taken now.