Former deputy chief minister of Uttar Pradesh and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Dinesh Sharma on Sunday criticised All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi over his comments on the Centre's controversial decision to confer Bharat Ratna to BJP veteran LK Advani. Stating that riots occured wherever Advani's Rath Yatra went in 1990 to support the construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya, Owaisi said that it was "wrong decision" to confer him with India's highest civilian award.
"Wherever Lal Krishna Advani's Rath Yatra had gone, there Hindu-Muslim disturbances happened, humanity died there. It is unfortunate that Narendra Modi's government is giving the highest civilian award to him," Owaisi said. "Babri Masjid's martyrdom happened in his (Advani) presence. When he was Home Minister, the 2002 riots occurred. We consider it a wrong decision," Owaisi said.
However, the BJP was quick to jump to attack Owaisi over his remarks. Coming to Advani's defence, BJP leader Sharma said that Owaisi had "no idea" of the party veteran's contribution to the country.
“Owaisi is a living testimony of the Mughal mentality in India. He has no idea of (BJP veteran) Lal Krishna Advani’s contribution to the nation. Advani dedicated his whole life to the nation,” Sharma said.
On Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the former deputy prime minister and BJP loyal will be conferred the Bharat Ratna, the country's highest civilian award. The announcement came two weeks after the Pran Pratishtha ceremony in the Ram Temple, Ayodhya.