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Posted at: May 1, 2015, 12:19 AM; last updated: May 1, 2015, 12:09 AM (IST)

Disapproving BJP distances itself from Dhankar’s views

Disapproving BJP distances itself from Dhankar’s views

OP Dhankar

Vibha Sharma

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 30

BJP president Amit Shah could not have made his displeasure over the insensitive statement on farmers’ suicide by Haryana’s Agriculture Minister OP Dhankar more evident.

Distancing the party from Dhankar’s viewpoint, he completely debunked the thought propagated by the senior Haryana leader and also cautioned him and others from courting controversies on such sensitive issues.

Speaking to mediapersons today a clearly disapproving Shah maintained that the views expressed by Dhankar were subscribed by the party.

Going a step further, he also cautioned party members to refrain from making such statements. “They were his (Dhankar’s) individual views. The party does not agree with them. I would like to advice all party leaders to desist from making such statements,” he said.

At a time when there is a nationwide concern over farmers’ distress and it is battling the perception of being an “anti-poor and anti-farmers” party, Dhankar’s comment that “farmers who commit suicide are cowards and criminals” took the party leadership by surprise.

Sources say the central leadership’s views on the issue have been “conveyed properly” to the Minister. Earning widespread criticism from all quarters, Dhankar had opined that according to Indian law, suicide is a crime. A person who commits suicide runs away from his responsibilities. “Such people are cowards and the government cannot stand by such cowards, such criminals.”

Though the BJP president tried to gloss over questions regarding disappointment within the party over the stalling of crucial bills like the Land Acquisition in Parliament, clearly, there is unease in the top leadership over the way the situation is panning pertaining to PM Narendra Modi’s development agenda.

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