The Bharatiya Janata Party is in the dock over several controversial remarks by its leaders. While Bihar BJP leader Giriraj Singh said that all those who oppose the party's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi will have to go to Pakistan after the Lok Sabha elections, former party president Nitin Gadkari said that casteism is in the DNA of Bihar.
There was massive furore soon after Singh's statement forcing him to clarify his stand. "Many people favouring Pakistan are constantly opposing Modi. This nation belongs to Indian at heart else Pakistan always welcome anti-India," he said in his clarification.
The party which is putting in efforts to build a secular image, distanced itself from Singh's statement.
In another huge embarrassment for the party, former BJP president Nitin Gadkari said, "Casteism is in the DNA of Bihar that is why more talk of casteism take place in the state." He made the comment when asked why BJP leaders in Bihar were raising the issue of caste of Narendra Modi when the party claimed to be against casteism.
BJP's rivals like the JDU and the RJD have complained to the Election Commission seeking ban of public meetings of Giriraj Singh and Nitin Gadkari.
Leaving no chance to take a shot at the BJP at the crucial time of the elections, political parties have raked up the issue.
"At first, the BJP projected Narendra Modi as a person belonging to extremely backward caste, now they are blaming the people of Bihar for indulging in casteism. People should not forget that BJP is a communal party with communal DNA," the Congress said lambasting the BJP.
While the BJP in its manifesto has shifted the Ram Mandir issue to the back burner, party vice-president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said that a solution needed to be found to the Ram temple issue within the constitutional framework.
Asked if the demolition of Babri mosque was within the constitutional framework, he said: "Ask this question to Congress, those who were the custodians of the site."
At the time when BJP is putting in all its efforts to reach out to break the barriers and reach out to the people, it is to be seen whether such statements from its own party leaders will prove to be a dent to the image of the party.