MP BJP in a fix over old video showing tribal peeing incident

Controversial Video Threatens BJP\'s Prospects in Madhya Pradesh Assembly Elections

Bhopal: A two-year-old video that has claimed the ticket of a sitting party MLA in the November 17 assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh has appeared to have made BJP in Vindhya region in the state nervous in the elections.

Congress has grabbed the opportunity to make the purported video catching a representative of BJP MLA from Sidhi, Kedar Nath Shukla, urinating on a tribal, a major poll issue to put BJP on the dock in the polls in Vindhya region, comprising 30 assembly seats.

BJP had virtually swept the region in the last assembly elections by bagging 24 out of 30 seats.

AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi during her recent visit to Madhya Pradesh had elaborately made mention of the video in her speech at an election meeting to portray BJP as anti-tribal, making her party’s intention clear to turn it into a major poll issue.

BJP has however ruled out any threat to the party’s prospects in the region or elsewhere in the state in the elections owing to the video.

“It is a non-issue now. Congress wants to rake it up now with the hope of making gains in the elections by wooing the tribals. But, it is a dead issue now since the party has dealt with it adroitly”, a senior BJP functionary told this newspaper on Thursday.

The video catching one Praveen Shukla pissing on the face of Damant Rawat, a Kol tribal, in Sidhi had triggered a wave of indignation in the country, prompting the state BJP government to arrest the accused and later demolish the ‘encroached’ portion of his house.

Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had immediately launched a damage control exercise by hosting the tribal victim in his official residence here where he was honoured by him.

Mr Chouhan had also profusely apologised to him for the incident.

The state government has also constructed a new house for him in the village.

Local Congress leaders including former minister Ajey Singh had then rushed to the village of the tribal to express his party’s support and solidarity to him following the exposure of the video.

“I have repeatedly been approached by Congress to campaign for them in the elections. But, I have declined their offer saying that he is not keen to drag him into any kind of politics over the issue”, the tribal said on Thursday.

The Kol tribal community has a population of around 10 lakh in the region and are in a position to influence the outcome of the polls in at least 15 assembly constituencies.

BJP has also dropped its sitting MLA in Sidhi and replaced him with the party MP Rithi Pathak in the seat in the ensuing polls.

The octogenarian Mr Shukla, a four-time MLA, has meanwhile, filed his nomination in the seat as an independent candidate raising the prospects of cutting BJP votes in the polls in the seat.

Mr Shukla’s followers believed that the video was a political conspiracy not only against Mr Shukla but against the BJP also.

“Why has no probe been done to unearth the origin of the video and who was behind its exposure? The whole episode is still shrouded in mystery”, a close aide of Mr Shukla said, unwilling to be quoted.

Next Story