Hyderabad: As BJP Raja Singh still in suspension, others eyeing his seat?

Sources said at least two members of his community have shown interest contesting from the Goshamahal seat if BJP gives them a ticket

Hyderabad: With Goshamahal BJP MLA T Raja Singh still being under suspension for passing derogatory remarks against Prophet Muhammad last year, other local leaders from his constituency have reportedly evinced interest in contesting the elections if the party gives them a ticket. Raja Singh is also currently facing a gag order from the Telangana high court, which doesn’t allow him to hold rallies or public events in the state.

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With state elections approaching in the next six months, Raja Singh has managed to circumvent the gag order by participating in Hindutva rallies outside the state. He has been doing the same from the last few weeks in Maharashtra. It has been learnt that the two-time Goshamahal MLA is reportedly exploring all options, including contesting as an independent candidate from Amberpet constituency that was earlier held by Union Minister G Kishan Reddy in Hyderabad.

Sources closer to the MLA said Raja Singh is quite confident of his win from Goshamahal or Amberpet seat in 2023 assembly elections. The Goshamahal constituency has six sitting BJP corporators and at least two of them are aspiring to get an MLA ticket from the party because already Raja Singh contested twice.

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Raj Singh is currently out on bail after he was arrested for his derogatory remarks on Prophet Muhammad last year, which led to several protests. While quashing Singh’s detention in jail under the PD Act last year, the High Court, as part of its bail order, warned the BJP MLA was told not to make provocative speeches or speak in public.

So far, a case has already been registered against him in recent times for violating the court orders (with the Mangalhat police station). He was served another notice by the Hyderabad police on January 29 for a hate speech in Mumbai. Raja Singh is currently unable to carry out political campaigns or hold public rallies as he would have ideally done in the run-up to the polls. It is unsure how the state judiciary will react to him making speeches outside, with the logic that it is beyond the HC’s jurisdiction.

BJP exploring other options?

On the other hand, sources also told Siasat.com that the BJP state leadership reportedly interacted some members of the Lodh Kshatriya community, which Raja Singh belongs to. Sources said at least two members of the community had evinced interest in contesting the elections this year from Goshamahal if the party gives them a ticket. Nevertheless, community elders however said they don’t want any conflict in the community over politics.

Moreover, the a section of the BJP leadership and party workers however have been demanding that Raja Singh’s suspension be lifted. But that is a call for the paty’s state leadership to take, said a senior party leader when contacted.

Prophet remarks case

The suspended BJP MLA was detained under the Preventive Detention (PD) Act by the Hyderabad police last year. After spending nearly three months in the Central Prison, Cherlapally, he was released after the High Court quashed his detention orders.

Cases were registered against Raja Singh for passing derogatory statements against Prophet Muhammad that brought the city to the verge of a communal riot last year. Raja Singh released a video with his objectionable remarks after the state government allowed comedian Munawar Faruqui, who had performed a comedy set about Hindu gods earlier, to hold a show in the city.

The BJP MLA’s video led to several protests for over two days, after which the Hyderabad police put him in prison. Senior police officials said that they are keeping tabs on him after his release as well.

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