‘Not fringe, PM saying this’: BJP minority leader expelled for criticising Modi’s anti-Muslim speech

Usman Gani was the president of the BJP Bikaner minority cell.

WrittenBy:Shivnarayan Rajpurohit
Date:
   

“We reject fringe elements…But when the Prime Minister himself is making these statements, what will you say?” asked Usman Gani, former chief of the BJP Bikaner minority cell, in an interview with Newslaundry, hours after the Rajasthan Muslim leader was ousted from the saffron party.    

Gani was referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement at a political rally in Rajasthan – calling Muslims “infiltrators” and those with “more children” – which the opposition alleged was “hate speech” in violation of the model code of conduct.  

Days later, Gani criticised the anti-Muslim speech in an interaction with News24. He also said the BJP will lose in three-four Lok Sabha constituencies. The four-minute video clip was widely circulated on social media, although the news outlet deleted it from its YouTube channel. The next day, Gani was expelled by the BJP for “besmirching its image”.      

In this conversation, Gani delved into the challenges of being a Muslim leader in the BJP, the implications of hate speech from the party top brass, centralisation of power, and the denial of tickets to established leaders by the BJP.    

The politician who began his political career with the ABVP, the BJP’s student wing, also spoke about why he joined the BJP, the space of dissent within the party, its strategy to woo Muslim voters and the lack of minority representation.    

Watch.

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