Bharatiya Janata Party leader Amarinder Singh on Saturday demanded that party leader Sandeep Dayma be expelled for his remarks in Rajasthan about mosques and gurudwaras.
The former Punjab chief minister also demanded that legal action should be taken against him. “Nobody should be allowed to get away with a mere apology after provocative hate speeches,” he said on X, formerly known as Twitter.
On Wednesday, Dayma said that mosques and gurdwaras in the town of Tijara had become “ulcers” and should be uprooted, reported The Indian Express. He was campaigning for Balak Nath, the BJP candidate from the Tijara constituency in Rajasthan.
“See how many mosques, gurdwaras have been built here,” Dayma said. “This will become an ulcer for us in the future. That is why it’s our duty that this ulcer be uprooted and thrown out...”
Following this, the Sikh community held demonstrations in Tijara and Jaipur against Dayma, Nath and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath, who was also present at the event where the speech was delivered.
Later, Dayma released a video apologising for his statements. He said he wanted to refer to mosques and madrasas in his speech, but mistakenly spoke about gurdwaras.
“I seek apology with folded hands from the entire Sikh community, which has always protected Hinduism and Sanatan Dharma,” said Dayma. “I do not know how I committed the mistake. I will repent for this mistake by going to a gurdwara. I apologise to the entire Sikh community with folded hands.”
However, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee – the body that manages Sikh places of worship in Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh – said that speaking against religious sites of Muslims was as condemnable as speaking against those of Sikhs.
Amarinder Singh said on Saturday that Dayma’s apology did not serve any purpose “as his remarks have already caused immense hurt to well-meaning people”.
The party’s Punjab unit chief, Sunil Jakhar, said the Rajasthan leader’s outburst could be condoned. “I have apprised central leadership of hurt caused to people by his reprehensible statement,” he said in a post on X. “State BJP unit has recommended exploring of all options to ensure no repetition of such misconduct takes place as no apology would assuage hurt and anger caused by this insensitive remark.”