Several BJP leaders, including the national secretary of the party Sunil Deodhar, have demanded to change the name of the Jinnah Tower Center in Guntur to be renamed after former President AJP Abdul Kalam.
Protestors of the BJP who marched towards the tower were detained by Police. The police had foiled the protests as BJP tried to take out the protests. For the past few months, the BJP and other Hindu organizations had been calling for the change of the tower but the government did not listen.
BJP Rajya Sabha member GVL Narasimha Rao condemned the arrest of party workers by the Police. In a tweet, he said: “We strongly condemn high handed behavior & detention, arrest of our state co-in charge and national secretary Sunil Deodhar, national secretary Satya Kumar and hundreds of @BJP4Andhra cadres for seeking naming of Jinnah tower as Abdul Kalam Tower”. He “Wonder if we are in AP or Pakistan?”.
State President BJP Somu Veerraju argued the change of the name of the Tower is not only the demand of his party but that the people also want the name to be changed.
He said there has been a widespread for their call to change the name of the tower from Jinnah to AJP Abdul Kalam. “The state government cannot adopt an oppressive stance over our demand,” Mr. Veerraju added.
State after state, opposition govts are assaulting citizens. This is in Andhra. State police hit BJP karyakartas who were demanding that the Jinnah tower of Guntur be renamed APJ Abdul Kalam tower. But no one calls them fascist. pic.twitter.com/5EoIeZvptM
— Shefali Vaidya. 🇮🇳 (@ShefVaidya) May 24, 2022
BJP, however, is known for its anti-Muslim stance. They have often passed controversial statements in the past calling criticism from the Muslim community in Pakistan.
Back in 2018, Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) passed a contentious statement, “Muslims should not be living in this country, they should go to Pakistan or Bangladesh.” He further stated that a bill should be introduced in Parliament for those “who do not respect Vande Matram and insult national flag or hoist Pakistani flag”. This statement came in response to Asaduddin Owaisi, a politician belonging to All India Majlis-e-Etihad-ul Muslimeen, who had demanded the framing of a law to punish anyone who calls an Indian Muslim, a ‘Pakistani’.