Indore: At least 12 BJP leaders from Lakshadweep resigned from the party Friday in protest over the sedition case against filmmaker Aisha Sultana, calling it “false and unjustified”.
A sedition case was registered against Sultana Thursday, based on a complaint filed by Lakshadweep BJP president Abdul Khader Haji, for calling the union territory’s administrator, Praful Khoda Patel, a “bio-weapon” being used by the Centre on the island’s people.
Sultana had made the remarks during a debate on Malayalam channel MediaOne TV on the controversial reforms introduced by the Lakshadweep administrator
However, in the resignation letter addressed to Haji, the BJP leaders reportedly said that his allegations were “false and unjustified”, and that they were “ruining her (Sultana’s) family and her future”.
They also noted that the entire BJP unit in the island was aware of the “enormity” of the “anti-democratic, anti-people and terrifying” policies proposed by Patel.
The letter added that the actions taken by Patel were “anti-people, anti-democracy and causing extreme suffering among people”.
“You also know that several BJP leaders of Lakshadweep have already spoken on the various wrongdoings of administrator and the district collector. It’s just in the same way that Chetlat resident Aisha Sultana also shared her opinion in the media,” the letter read.
Those who resigned include BJP general secretary Abdul Hamid Mullipura, member of the Wakf Board Ummul Kulooos Puthiyapura, member of the Khadi board Saifullah Pakkiyoda, secretary of the Chetlat unit Jabir Salihath Manzil and several other party workers.
This follows the resignation of eight other BJP leaders from Lakshadweep in May.
Discontent in BJP’s Lakshadweep unit over Covid management
In a TV debate on the controversial draft policies in Lakshadweep, Sultana had criticised Patel’s policies and called him a “bioweapon”.
“Lakshadweep had zero cases of Covid-19. Now it is reporting a daily spike of 100 cases. What the Centre has deployed is a bioweapon. I can say this clearly that the central government has deployed bioweapon,” she had, reportedly, said in the debate.
Consequently, Lakshadweep BJP president Haji filed a complaint against her, calling her “anti-national” and also blamed her for “tarnishing the patriotic image of the central government”.
However, there has been widespread discontent over the Patel’s handling of Covid-19 in the union territory, within the Lakshadweep unit of the BJP. Especially with the “Save Lakshadweep” campaign, which has been going on for several weeks now.
Patel was appointed the Lakshadweep administrator in December 2020 after the death of Dineshwar Sharma. He is also in charge of Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu.
After 11 months of zero Covid cases, Lakshadweep reported its first case in January this year. The union territory now has over 9,000 active cases.
Patel’s decision to lift quarantine policies has been blamed by many for the surge in cases in the archipelago.
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