New Delhi: Several legislators have reacted to the Narendra Modi government’s move of turning Article 370 into a dead letter. One among them is BJP MLA Vikram Saini from Khatauli in Uttar Pradesh who made this appalling point — that his party workers can now “marry fair women from Kashmir”.
Saini, however, is no stranger to controversies. He had been detained under the National Security Act for his alleged role in the Muzaffarnagar riots of 2013 and has cases of rioting and criminal intimidation filed against him.
In a video clip that has been widely circulated on social media, Saini can be heard saying: “The workers are very excited and those who are bachelors can get married there. There is no issue now. Earlier, there was lot of atrocities on women. If a woman from Kashmir got married to a man from Uttar Pradesh, her citizenship would be revoked.”
He was speaking at a function in Muzaffarnagar to celebrate the abrogation of Article 370 — that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir — earlier this week.
Saini can be heard saying the party workers urged him to arrange a celebration programme Khatauli too following which he had “promptly called the circle officer concerned to make arrangements for it”. The officer, Saini goes on to say in the clip, had informed him that the programme can only be held a day later.
“It is the Yogi Adityanath’s government in the state. The programme will be arranged today, come what may,” Saini is heard telling the gathering Tuesday.
He did not stop there. After the event, the lawmaker addressed some local journalists and repeated his remarks about Kashmiri women. “Anyone can marry Kashmiri girls. I have not given any wrong statement,” he said.
Saini was heavily trolled on social media after the video went viral.
Racist, sexist, sexually deprived dinosaurs are not extinct, but flourishing! Why are most of our leaders men that you wouldn’t even want to invite home for chai ? Cringe. Is liye jaana tha Kashmir? Shaadi to legal hi thi … ? https://t.co/oSlFl8ACv6 pic.twitter.com/e3pRjDFh1j
— TheRichaChadha (@RichaChadha) August 7, 2019
Previous controversial statements
On 24 February 2019, Saini had called the renowned Islamic seminary Darul Uloom at Deoband a “terror factory” which “should be closed down immediately” .
He had also taken a dig at the family planning ideal of “hum do hamaare do” on 24 February last year and demanded that Hindus be allowed to produce more children.
“We happily accepted this slogan and some have stopped at one child only. But there are others who still believe in ‘hum do, hamaare 18’ or ‘hum do, hamaare 25’. After two kids, my wife suggested not to have a third. But I said that we should have four or five more kids,” Saini had said at an event organised by the NGO Rashtra Nirman Sanghatan to promote family planning in Muzaffarnagar.
Saini triggered another controversy on 4 January, 2018 when he threatened to bomb “those who feel unsafe in this country”. In a viral video, the MLA can be heard saying: “Suitable arrangement will now be made for those who are anti-nationals and those who do not feel safe in the country. There should be a provision to punish people who speak like this and it should be considered at par with treason. If the government makes me a minister, I will erase them all by using bombs.”
He added, “The army has a lot of bombs, I will explode all of them.”
During a felicitation programme for Minister of State Suresh Rana on 26 March 2017, MLA Saini had said that he will break the limbs of those involved in cow slaughter.
“There are a lot of people who do not consider cow as their mother and kill them. I have promised that I would break the hand and legs of people who disrespect and kill cows.”
‘Career boost’ after jail stay
After the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots, Saini was arrested and sent to jail under the National Security Act. A special court in Allahabad is hearing his case. There are allegations that he had made several inflammatory speeches at the time of the riots.
Saini was the gram pradhan of Kawal village when the riots broke out. He now represents Khatauli assembly segment as a BJP MLA. Uttar Pradesh was under the Samajwadi Party rule at the time.
His time in jail seems to have come only as a blessing. Soon after his release, Saini came to be seen as a firebrand Hindu leader in Muzaffarnagar. In 2015, he won the zila panchayat elections with a handsome margin. Saini also got his big ‘reward’ during the 2017 assembly polls when the BJP gave him a ticket to contest Khatauli constituency. He won by a margin of nearly 31,000 votes.
The BJP’s dominance in Khatauli has grown after the Muzaffarnagar riots and its huge win in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.