The term “good riddance” is accurately applicable to BJP’s defectors. The prominent names in this category include Sidhu, Shatrughan Sinha and now, Udit Raj. BJP did not even get a chance to mourn the bygones because of their antics. They leaving the party leadership have become a blessing in disguise for the saffron party.
Topping the list of defectors is Navjot Singh Sidhu; who is such a Pakistani apologist that prudent citizens have actual doubts about his citizenship. The former cricketer left BJP in 2017 to join Congress and since then has become a major source of embarrassment for the party. He is the same man who did not have time to attend the funeral of the Pulwama attack martyrs in Moga, thus defying the order of CM Amarinder Singh but had all the time in the world to go to Pakistan to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Pak PM Imran Khan; not to mention go and hug the Pakistan Army chief while he was there.
Having such regard for the Pakistani armed forces, his attitude for his own country’s armed forces, in contrast, is highly bleak. Throughout the tensions with Pakistan over the terrorist attack and subsequent pre-emptive strikes, Sidhu had taken Pakistan’s side. In the aftermath of the Pulwama attack, orchestrated by Pakistan based terror organization JeM, Sidhu had stated, “For a handful of people, can you blame the entire nation and can you blame an individual? It (the attack) is a cowardly act and I condemn it firmly. Violence is always condemnable and those who did it must be punished.” Moreover, echoing Pakistan’s voice after the Balakot air strikes, he had tweeted, “300 terrorist dead, Yes or No? What was the purpose then? Were you uprooting terrorist or trees? Was it an election gimmick? Deceit possesses our land in guise of fighting a foreign enemy.” Thereafter, when Pakistan released IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan, as they were supposed to under the UN charter, Navjot Singh could not hide his joy as he praised Imran Khan, stating his act to be noble and that his “goodwill gesture is ‘a cup of joy’ for a billion people”.
Pakistan too reciprocates and acknowledges Sidhu’s love as is evident with Imran Khan’s statement, “He (Navjot Singh Sidhu) can come and contest election here in Pakistan’s Punjab, he’ll win”.
Apart from the armed forces, Sidhu isn’t much appreciative about Indian culture as well. At a rally in Kasauli Literature Festival, Navjot Singh Sidhu ranted about his love for Pakistan and their impeccable culture by stating, “Neither the language changes in Pakistan nor the people living there. But when you go to South India, everything changes from language to even the staple food. You need to learn English or Telugu if you want to live there, but there is no such compulsion in Pakistan.”
Shatrughan Sinha is a similar story. While explaining the reasons for leaving BJP, Sinha said that he is now a member of the Congress party and will contest elections from Chindwara constituency in Madhya Pradesh. In this speech during the rally at Chindwara, he also mentioned Jinnah as part of the Congress party family. Sinha said, “Ye Congress parivar Mahatma Gandhi se leke, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel se leke, Muhammad Ali Jinnah se leke, Jawaharlal Nehru se leke, swargiya Indira Gandhi se leke, Rajiv Gandhi se leke aur Rahul Gandhi se leke inki party hai jinka desh ke vikas me, desh ki tarakki me, desh ki azadi me sabse mehatvapurna aur sabse bada yogdaan hua, isliye hum yaha aye (Congress family from Mahatma Gandhi to Sardar Patel to Muhammad Ali Jinnah to Jawaharlal Nehru… It is their party. They had the most important role in development and freedom of the country. This is the reason why I have come here (in Congress)”.
By supporting the pioneer of the separatist movement that led to the division of the country and formation of Pakistan, Sinha has not only embarrassed himself but also his wife. She is contesting on an SP ticket and Sinha’s campaign was essential for both of them.
Now, the newest Congress entrant, Udit Raj has gone a step further and insulted the President of India, calling him deaf and dumb. Udit Raj, one of the defectors, joined the grand old party after BJP denied him the Lok Sabha ticket to seek re-election from North West Delhi’s reserved seat. In an attempt to spite BJP, Raj seems to have dug his own grave. In a press conference in Jaipur, Udit Raj said, “If a Dalit is deaf and dumb in the BJP, then only he can reach the top position. First, they made a Dalit the party president (reference to Bangaru Laxman). Now, they have made a Dalit President (Ram Nath Kovind). Had I been deaf and dumb, they could have made me the Prime Minister if needed.” In the same breath, contradicting his own self, he also alleged that BJP is against Dalits, women and Muslims.
This statement no doubt arose from his need to please his “new party”, but Congress leaders themselves would be horrified on hearing this. There was no clear base to his statements but were merely rants, aimed to somehow dissuade the public against BJP.
No doubt, the Congress was hoping to get a popular leader, an asset for them and in turn have got the worst of liabilities such as Udit Raj. By this statement, he was aiming to discriminate against the people on the basis of their caste. Moreover, he has also maligned the name of the honorable President of the country, a leader who is not party to the elections at all and remains a fair and neutral entity in the government.
These defectors are definitely giving the Congress nightmares with their antics and the BJP is surely going to benefit from this. Congress party thought these defectors would be assets for them, however, they have turned into liabilities.