The simmering caste politics cauldron saw a fresh boil on Tuesday as the Madhya Pradesh BJP went ballistic on state Congress media cell chief K.K. Mishra, highlighting a video that purportedly showed Mishra using an expletive against the Brahmin community.
BJP went all out to support organizations like Brahmin Mahasabha and Sanskriti Bachao Manch that demanded apology from Mishra and his suspension from the Congress if he did not apologise.
Bhopal BJP unit president Sumit Pachauri led a delegation to meet MP Congress chief Kamal Nath in the evening, with the same demand. After meeting Nath, Pachauri said that the PCC chief had assured action against Mishra and if it did not come, BJP would register an FIR against him (Mishra). Also, BJP will not let the Bharat Jodo Yatra led by Rahul Gandhi enter Madhya Pradesh, he said.
Caste politics is becoming murkier in Madhya Pradesh as the Assembly polls of 2023 are drawing near. Last month, the BJP had suspended senior OBC leader Pritam Lodhi for his anti-Brahmin statements. After this, Lodhi joined the OBC Mahasabha and participated in huge rallies in his support, especially in Gwalior-Chambal and Bundelkhand regions.
This incident was invoked by Mishra on Tuesday after Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan removed Arvind Tiwari as superintendent of police and Somesh Mishra as the district collector of Jhabua back to back on Monday and Tuesday. Both the officers are Brahmins. While action on Tiwari came for his reported abuse of students seeking police protection, Mishra was removed over anger among the tribal population on his functioning.
In a tweet, Mishra said, “power tussle at its peak in Madhya Pradesh and the battle has turned caste-based. V.D. Sharma (BJP state president, a Brahmin) ousted OBC leader Pritam Loshi and Shivraj Singh Chouhan (CM, an OBC) ousted two Brahmins – former inspector general of police (IG) Gwalior Anil Sharma and now Arvind Tiwari. These IPS officers were appointed by (union minister) Jyotiraditya Scindia and (BJP national general secretary) Kailash Vijayvargiya?”
Even as the BJP attacked Mishra for his casteist tweet, the controversial video got circulated. The clip of few seconds purportedly shows Mishra, himself a Brahmin, using an expletive for Brahmins in context of a question regarding removal of Tiwari as Jhabua SP. BJP leaders then started attacking Mishra over this video, seeking his apology or action on him by the party.
While the Congress came out with the statement saying that the video was fabricated and legal action would be initiated against anyone using the video, Mishra himself told THE WEEK that the video of his unofficial conversation was recorded without his knowledge and circulated. He said that he stood by his official statement where he had said that he was against all criminals irrespective of their caste or creed and would never support them. His official statement from Monday was also released to the media.