Sambit Patra’s Endless Tweeting About Jawaharlal Nehru Earns Him a FIR


Sambit Patra’s Endless Tweeting About Jawaharlal Nehru Earns Him a FIR

Illustration: Mitesh Parmar

A week after anchor Arnab Goswami was called in for questioning over his debate on Sonia Gandhi, BJP leader Sambit Patra has been put in the spotlight for statements made about former prime ministers Rajiv Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru.

A formal complaint has been filed against the BJP spokesperson in Chhattisgarh for promoting enmity between different groups and hurting religious sentiments with his remarks. A separate FIR was also lodged in Maharashtra’s Thane for defamation. Both complaints were filed by Youth Congress leaders.

The FIRs took note of a tweet put out on Monday, in which the surgeon and BJP leader had blamed Jawaharlal Nehru for the Kashmir conflict, and claimed that Rajiv Gandhi had committed the Bofors scam and gotten 3,000 Sikhs killed.

The complaint lodged in Raipur, however, argues that neither of the two former PMs had been convicted in a corruption case or over the riots. It says these claims were likely to affect harmony between religious groups and disturb “public tranquility”.

“There is also likelihood that the tweet may cause fear in the Sikh community and induce any person of the community to commit an offence against the state,” the FIR said.

This isn’t the first time one of the most prominent faces of the BJP has made claims about India’s first Prime Minister. Back in January, in a series of tweets, he had attributed the Kashmir mess to Nehru’s “misadventures”.

That the spokesperson has no love for the Gandhi family was no secret even before those remarks, considering he has also gone on record calling them the “original Thugs of Hindostan”.

On Tuesday, after receiving summons from the Chhattisgarh police for his comments on Monday, Patra doubled down and tweeted what prompted him to hold Rajiv Gandhi responsible for the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

Even though the cases aren’t likely to amount to much, it isn’t likely to be the last we hear about them in the next couple of days, on social media, at least. It just goes to show, politics refuses to take a backseat, even during a global health disaster.