BJP on Monday chose to boycott an event to honour India’s freedom fighters because of the presence of Lalu Yadav and Rahul Gandhi on the stage.
The party was originally scheduled to attend the function, organised by the Bihar government, but they pulled at the last minute. The event was held to commemorate Champaran Satyagraha’s 100th year.
BJP’s senior functionary in Bihar, Sishil Modi, tweeted, “Nitish are you insulting or felicitating freedom fighters by inviting Lalu convict in scam & Rahul on bail in NH case?”
Yadav, who’s the head of the state’s ruling Rashtriya Janata Dal, has been convicted in corruption and cannot contest elections unless his conviction gets quashed by the Supreme Court. Corruption allegations aside, his party had emerged as the largest party in the assembly elections, held in 2015.
Among those who chose to stay away was also the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
“We stayed away because Lalu, who’s convicted, was called for this function,” BJP’s Mangal Pandey was quoted by NDTV.
An unnerved Yadav called the BJP’s boycott as ironical.
He said, “Those who did not participate in the freedom struggle and backed Nathuram Godse (Gandhi’s assassin) are now giving lessons in boycotting.”
The BJP too had come under considerable criticism earlier this month when Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath had shared the stage with judges of the Allahabad High Court despite facing multiple charges of serious crimes.