The second case
On December 1, days before the Mainpuri Lok Sabha bypoll, the SP media cell tweeted, “Just like Bhallaladeva’s chariot, we are running a campaign that exposes and humiliates those from the BJP; those BJP leaders who are interested can continue with foul-mouthing. Each of them will be dealt with as their turn comes.”
Bhallaladeva is the primary antagonist in the Baahubali fantasy film series who schemes against warrior prince Baahubali and tries to outperform him in battle with advanced weapons.
After this tweet, UP BJP spokesperson Rakesh Tripathi if the SP’s media cell was “referring to Akhilesh Yadav” through Bhallaladeva’s analogy. The media cell then Tripathi as “those born out of Rahim’s cave” – an indirect reference to the BJP-led government in Haryana granting to Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh ahead of the Adampur assembly bypoll last month.
The SP media cell Tripathi as “someone who is used to smelling cow dung and is familiar with the likes of Sangh members and Chinmayanand and belongs to Ram Rahim’s cave where section 377 like activities happen.”
BJP leader and former union minister Swami Chinmayanand is an accused in a rape case. Section 377 of the IPC criminalising same sex was struck down by the Supreme Court in 2018.
“After the initial tweet, I was only trying to raise the issue of dynasty politics, while referring to Akhilesh, which is when the said Twitter handle resorted to abuses that shouldn’t be deemed fit for any social media platform,” Tripathi told Newslaundry.
After the SP media cell BJP members pimps while sharing a report about a local BJP leader allegedly molesting a woman in Moradabad, UP BJP spokesperson Manish Shukla responded by about former SP minister Gayatri Prasad Prajapati’s conviction in a gangrape case.
Asked if BJP spokespersons are considering separate legal action, Shukla said, “response can be given in a civil language” and “the court led by the public will decide on this”.
With inputs from Vivek Mishra.