Rajasthan is witnessing revolt and rebellion by both the Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party members who were denied tickets. The BJP has gone far too long by denying tickets to its sitting MLAs, including the likes of the infamous MLA from Alwar’s Ramgarh, Gyandev Ahuja. The “Hindutva poster boy” is now contesting as an independent candidate from Jaipur’s Sanganer seat. Here are excerpts from a conversation between Ahuja and Newslaundry, hours after his resignation from the party.
You have been associated with the BJP for a long time and was a serving MLA. What triggered your decision to leave the BJP?
I have not left the BJP, but have resigned from it for the time being. Injustice has been done to me by denying me a ticket. The national leadership had made it clear that if a sitting MLA is denied a ticket, the BJP will give me the reasons behind such a decision. Neither did they give me a reason, nor did they share the rationale behind denying my ticket. Janata is saddened by this action but I am not sad. I am shocked. Had I been sad, I won’t have decided to contest the polls [as an independent candidate].
You have resigned from the BJP and yet you deny that you have not left the party. How does that work?
I am confident of victory and will join the BJP again after winning the polls. The Congress, the Bahujan Samaj Party and a local party had approached me to contest the polls on their ticket, which I declined. Even though I am contesting the polls as an independent candidate, I am still a BJP cadre.
But the BJP candidate’s campaign will be against you too?
They can choose to attack me but I will not attack the BJP. I have been fighting for Hindutva, Ram Janmabhoomi, [to protect] Indian culture, and cow protection, and will contest the polls on these issues itself. And the development of Sanganer assembly seat.
Who will be the “real” Hindutva candidate? You or the BJP candidate?
On my seat, the BJP and the Congress will contest for the third and fourth slot. As far as I am concerned, I am a man who follows Sanatan Dharm lifestyle, pays respect to Rishi-Munis and eats my last meal of the day before the sunset. I don’t want to comment on the BJP candidate. But this should tell the reality.
You said you decided to quit the party due to the dictatorial attitude of the leadership. Who are you targeting: the Central leadership or Vasundhara Raje?
The Central leadership deserves my respect. And I have been saying that Narendra Modiji is Lord Krishna’s incarnation.
Then is the attack on Vasundhara Raje?
The kind of statements I have used, the party could have decided to oust [me] for years [sic] and that would have been an attack on my self-integrity. But they didn’t do it. In my resignation letter, I clearly cited two reasons—favouritism and the dictatorial attitude of state leadership (laughs). Everything is summed up in this statement. Those who want to understand would have got it already.
Why are you mincing your words? So the attack is on Vasundhara Raje?
(laughs in agreement) It’s understood who I am targeting.
In the past, the timing of your statements regarding those who smuggle cows (“deserve to die”) might have boosted the morale of cow vigilantes. Now that the polls are here, do you want to issue a clarification or retract statements like these?
I never issue a clarification. That’s not in my nature. I always speak that [which] is according to the law.
You have been courting controversy, whether it’s supporting cow vigilantes in Alwar or your “condom counting” for JNU.
(interrupts) Why are you speaking about apavitra (impure) things in the night! (laughs)
But now that the party has denied the ticket, do you regret your statements regarding the cow vigilantes or JNU?
You are free to interpret the situation as you wish. But regret and clarification is not part of my nature. I stand by my words, every journalist knows that.
You were a sitting MLA from Alwar. The minority community there has said communal hatred has been rooted in the society in a very strategic manner. Whom do you hold responsible for this hate?
I am true and hardcore Hindu but I am not against common Muslims and Christians. I am not against Meo Muslims. I am against criminal elements from the community who are involved in activities of cow smuggling and slaughter, those who lure Hindu girls for Love Jihad, those who sell synthetic milk. I am against them.
But such criminal elements would be in the Hindu community too?
I am against them too. Despite being an MLA, I have been against all criminals and criminal activities. But the involvement of people from the Meo community is the highest when it comes to the crime and dispute in the area (Alwar), which falls under 11 offences.
Now that you are standing for the polls, will you seek votes from the minority community or not?
As I said, I am not against Muslims. Hence, I will seek votes from all communities, from Muslims, Christians. It depends on them whether they want to vote for me or not.
You were presented as the Hindutva poster boy in the Alwar belt of Rajasthan. The opposition has accused the BJP of pandering to Hindutva sentiments. Then why was this poster boy sidelined?
Congressis are the most communal people. In Madhya Pradesh, they are talking about Gaushalas. Rahul Gandhi is visiting temples. Their leaders give controversial statements and defend Naxals and Kashmiri stone pelters.
But the question is, why has the Hindutva poster boy been sidelined?
Even I am asking the same question of the party leadership. Why I was denied a ticket, what were the grounds for taking such action? I am yet to get an answer.