MUMBAI: There were red faces in the BJP after two of its legislators were found snacking on sandwiches and chips as the party leaders and cadres led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi observed a day’s fast across India on Thursday.
The development came three days after the Bharatiya Janata Party lampooned the Congress when some of its Delhi leaders were seen eating out at a restaurant prior to its fast on Monday.
Two BJP legislators — Bhimrao Tapkir and Sanjay Bhegade alias Bala — were filmed while ‘breaking’ their fast mid-way during an official meeting convened in the Pune Council Hall by Guardian Minister Girish Bapat.
A video clipping of the two chomping on sandwiches and chips went viral on the social media and was broadcast by television channels, even as embarrassed state BJP leaders kept mum.
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In a statement, Maharashtra Congress President Ashok Chavan said that the “drama of fasting will not work anymore” as the people are no longer interested in government’s false promises.
“In Pune, the BJP leaders were seen enjoying snacks in the middle of the fast… elaborate arrangements were made for serving snacks before launching the ‘fast’ and after completing it. This ‘fast’ is just a farce,” Chavan said dismissively during a media briefing.
“If somebody eats three hours before a fast, BJP finds it objectionable, but it is okay for them if they eat during the fast. The reason behind today’s fasting programme is bogus, the sentiments are bogus and the fast itself is bogus,” said state Congress Spokesperson Sachin Sawant.
Incidentally, it is not clear how the video clip of the BJP legislators enjoying the snack during the fast came into the public domain as the party had issued strict instructions against any publicity stunts on social media networks.
The call for a day-long fast by the BJP leaders led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi was given to protest the washout of the second half of parliament’s budget session.
The BJP alleged that the Congress did not allow parliament to function, initially on account of the bank scams. Thereafter, the YSR Congress and TDP created hurdles on the issue of special status for Andhra Pradesh and moved no-confidence motions against the government.