Assam: Sitting BJP MLA, known for provocative comments, denied ticket; says will quit

They have politically murdered me for being aggressive for Hindutva, said Shiladitya Dev

The sitting BJP MLA of Hojai constituency in Assam, Shiladitya Dev, infamous for his repeated provocative comments against minorities, was Wednesday denied a ticket by the party and replaced by Ramkrishna Ghosh.

Following the development, Dev (52), who claims to have been associated with the BJP and the RSS for the last 30 years, said he would soon be resigning from the party. On his Facebook page, he posted soon after the list was out, “Finally, I have been kicked out of BJP.”

“I have been sidelined for speaking on Hindutva’s behalf. They have politically murdered me for being aggressive for Hindutva. The BJP of Atal ji and Advani ji is no longer there. It’s a commercial party now,” Dev told reporters.

A report published in Time magazine in August last year on ‘Facebook and hate speech in India’ mentioned that Dev had shared a news report about a girl being allegedly drugged and raped by a Muslim man, and added his own comment: “This is how Bangladeshi Muslims target our [native people] in 2019.”

“But rather than removing it, Facebook allowed the post to remain online for more than a year after the meeting, until TIME contacted Facebook to ask about it on August 21,” the report said. Facebook had told the magazine that the social media platform had “failed to remove upon initial review, which was a mistake on our part”.

In July last year, Dev had said he wanted to leave the party, alleging groupism within the party.

In 2018, a case was filed against Dev for allegedly making controversial and communal remarks on the National Register of Citizens (NRC) being prepared in Assam.

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