Bharatiya Janata Party Spokesperson Nupur Sharma on Monday night registered a police complaint against journalist Rana Ayyub for what she called a “defamatory, hate-filled and derogatory” tweet about the National Democratic Alliance’s presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind. Ayyub had said of the BJP’s choice: “And you thought Pratibha Patil was the worst bet.”. BJP on Monday had announced Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind as NDA’S presidential nominee.
The copy of Nupur Sharma’s complaint, which was circulated by BJP on social networking site twitter said that Ayyub’s tweet reflected an “extremely casteist, hateful and disrespectful mindset” against the scheduled castes, which Kovind has long represented. The complaint added that Ayyub directly undermined “the abilities and position in society of a member of the scheduled castes” and was “blatant and scurrilously slanderous and casteist”. The complaint asks for Ayyub to be booked under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Prevention of Atrocities Act, reported scroll.in
The differences in opinion between BJP and journalist Rana Ayyub are nothing new. Rana has written a book on 2002 Gujarat riots, Gujarat Files: Anatomy of a Cover Up. The book comprised transcripts of a sting operation she had conducted while working for Tehelka magazine on the aftermath of the 2002 Gujarat riots.
The announcement of Ram Nath Kovind has come as a surprise in the political class. Kovind has been a two-term Rajya Sabha MP as well as the former president of the BJP’s SC/ST Morcha from 1998 to 2002. He also served as the president of the All India Koli Samaj, an organisation that represents the interests of the Koli community, which is classified as a Scheduled Caste in Uttar Pradesh.
The presidential elections will be held on July 17 and the counting of votes will take place on July 20.