Maurya's MP daughter avoids controversy, focuses on polls

Lucknow, Jan 31 (IANS): BJP MP from Badaun, Sanghmitra Maurya, has, so far, steered clear of the controversy triggered by her father Swami Prasad Maurya's comments on Ramcharitmanas.

Sanghmitra, who had stayed back in the BJP when her father joined the Samajwadi party last year, said, "I am focussing on elections and ensuring that my party returns to power. This is not the time to speak about issues other than elections. We should all come together to encourage voters," she said.

Significantly, a day ago, Uttar Pradesh BJP chief Bhupendra Chaudhary had asked Sanghmitra to clear her stand since she was a BJP MP and was required to adhere to the party ideology.

Sanghmitra had maintained that her father's comment on Ramcharitmanas was not a subject of controversy but of "discussion". She had said that there have been discussions when people found something which was against the very character of Lord Ram.

"The issue should be analysed and discussed as to why the controversy has been erupting again and again over a particular line (in the book). Some people are taking up unnecessary issues to stoke a controversy," she said.

With the Lok Sabha elections still a year away, Sanghmitra, experts said, may prefer to tread cautiously while averting any possible backlash from the party high command. The BJP leadership, too, is learnt to be weighing its options heavily to ensure not to annoy the OBC community which has been one of the key elements of the party's poll template.

BJP sources said that the party is aware of the fact that the Samajwadi Party is seeking to weave in a fresh social coalition comprising OBCs, Dalits and Muslims in the runup to the civic and then the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

Sanghmitra found herself in a piquant situation last year when Maurya, then a minister in the Yogi Adityanath cabinet, had unfurled the banner of revolt against the BJP and switched over to the SP.

She had then maintained that her father deserted the BJP for the interests of his community. This escalated further when Maurya's cavalcade was attacked in Fazilnagar from where he was contesting and Sanghmitra slammed the BJP workers for attacking her father.



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