At a meeting of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi disapproved of the conduct of Madhya Pradesh legislator Akash Vijayvargiya, the son of senior party leader Kailash Vijayvargiya, who had beaten up a civic official in Indore with a cricket bat last week.
Modi did not name 34-year-old Akash, but sources said the message was clear: the party will not tolerate “arrogance and misbehaviour”. The PM also bemoaned the defence that Vijayvargiya senior put up for his son’s deed.
Vijayvargiya senior, a party general secretary, was present at the meeting. Modi said generations of BJP workers have not toiled hard to make the party successful and to see a day when such actions bring it a bad name.
In a video clip widely shared on social media, Akash, a BJP MLA in the Madhya Pradesh Assembly, was seen chasing the official and beating him with the bat as police personnel watched. The civic official was a member of a team removing encroachments.
According to sources, Modi told the BJP parliamentary party meeting that “whoever it may be, whoever’s son he may be... such arrogance, misbehaviour cannot be tolerated”. “Manmaani nahi chalegi (willfulness will not be tolerated),” Modi said.
The party might now take disciplinary action against Akash, said sources.
BJP MP and spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy quoted Modi as saying that such conduct was “totally unacceptable”. Asked if the PM also suggested disciplinary action, Rudy answered in affirmative: “He said if somebody behaves in such a way, then action should be taken against him. He made his feelings clear.”
In his son’s defence, party leader Kailash Vijayvargiya had said, “Pahle nivedan, phir aavedan, phir danadan (first request, then application, then attack).” Modi disapproved of the father’s defence of his son. “If somebody commits a mistake, there should be a sense of regret as well,” the PM said.
Akash had defended his action and refused to apologise. He was arrested and later released on bail by a court in Madhya Pradesh. After his release, BJP workers celebrated Akash’s release. Modi disapproved of the fanfare, sources said.
Possibly trying to draw a contrast between one dynast and another, the PM praised Lok Sabha member Chirag Paswan. He lauded Chirag, son of union cabinet minister and Lok Janshakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan, for his preparedness whenever he speak in Parliament.
The PM asked MPs to ensure attendance and be prepared. He also spoke of the BJP’s membership drive, which he will launch from Varanasi on July 6, the birth anniversary of Jan Sangh founder Syama Prasad Mukherjee.