A key functionary of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) B.L. Santhosh has threatened to "play a role" in the US polls against presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders but swiftly took down the tweet after evoking a number of responses.
In a now-deleted tweet, BJP National General Secretary Santhosh had warned Sanders he would campaign against him for his criticism of the communal violence in Delhi during the visit of President Donald Trump on 24-25 February.
“How much ever neutral we wish to be, you compel us to play a role in Presidential elections. Sorry to say so ... But you are compelling us,” said Santhosh, replying to the tweet by Sanders.
The squabble between the two, Sanders and Santhosh, raised eyebrows after the screenshot went viral on social media.
The tweet led to a number of reactions on social media with netizens guessing how the BJP leader could influence US polls.
I would be interested to know how exactly @blsanthosh imagines he (or the BJP) might “play a role” in the American presidential election. https://t.co/lz70ttp8bG— Ankit Panda (@nktpnd) February 27, 2020
Wow.. this BL Santhosh chap seems to be throwing his hat into the political ring.. with all his recent comments. https://t.co/MXW1ersSeC— Meghana میگھنا मेघना ਮੇਘਨਾ :-) (@archimags) February 27, 2020
what are they gonna do, instigate riots to slaughter Sanders supporters?— Brendon (@3662brendon) February 27, 2020
So, is BJP threatening a cyberattack or other election interference?— PedanticSemanticist (@antifah_Q) February 27, 2020
No, hell no. I don't want to hear something like Indian interference in the US presidential elections.— The Neutral Man (@neutral_always) February 27, 2020
It can have disastrous consequences
Trump during his two-day visit to India refrained from commenting on the communal clashes prevailing in Delhi over the Citizenship law at the time. He commented on this by saying that "he heard about it, but I didn’t discuss" it with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as it's "up to India".
Sanders slammed Trump over his unresponsiveness, and said it was a “failure of leadership on human rights”.
Deadly clashes erupted in Delhi's northeast as supporters and opponents of the recently-enacted Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) clashed earlier this week, coinciding with Trump's visit to India. Properties were burned down and vandalised by miscreants, several cars were torched and people assaulted. The latest count shows, that 34 people lost their lives in the Hindu-Muslim riots and around 300 were injured.
India witnessed widespread protests since the federal government enacted a controversial citizenship law in December 2019. So far 53 people have lost their lives in various parts of the country.
The law seeks to grant Indian citizenship to illegal immigrants belonging to minority communities from three neighbouring Islamic countries, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. It, however, excludes Muslims.