BJP MLA T. Raja Singh is in the news once again. This time he has threatened to set theaters on fire if they screen the movie ‘Padmavati’. A few months ago he had threatened to behead those who oppose Ram Mandir. And a few months before that he was ready to kill or get killed over a beef fest. And a few months before that….. The list is long. Apart from threatening violence, Singh is also well known for and making hate speeches and communal statements. A BJP MLA from the Goshamal constituency in Hyderabad since 2014, Singh is also BJP Telengana state Gau Raksha convener.

Let us look at some of these incidents that have kept him in the news.

In reverse chronological order:

1. Nov 6, 2017 Singh was at the heart of the controversy over the movie ‘Padmavati’, threatening to burn theaters that run the movie

2. In July this year, when violence had broken out in West Bengal, WestBengal violence: BJP MLA Raja Singh spews hate, wants Hindus to respond like they did in Gujarat.

3. In May he was booked for calling Hyderabad’s old city, ‘mini Pakistan’

4. Also in May he called Kashmiri Muslim ‘traitors’ and called for their trade boycott.

5. In April he had jumped into the Vande Matram controversy that is fanned every now and then by the “nationalists” and had declared there was no place in India for those who don’t sing Vande Matram.

6. Also in April he threatened to behead those who oppose Ram Temple

He declared he was ready to die and kill for Ram Temple and was also booked for his threats.

7. In March he called Kerala CM, Pinarayi a murderer of Hindus and threatened to disrupt his meeting in Hyderabad.

8. Moving to 2016, in August when the whole country expressed shock over the Una incident, Singh supported the flogging of dalits in Una. He believed that Gau Rakshaks had taught filthy Dalits a valuable lesson.

9. In February, 2016 he was booked for hate speech

10. In Dec 2015 he was again ready to kill or get killed. This time over the Osmania beef festival. He had said, “We warn them against a Dadri-like incident in Telangana. We can both give our lives and take life for the sake of protecting the cow“. He was placed under house arrest as he threatened disruption of Osmania beef festival.

11. In Sept 2015, one more case for hate speech was registered against him. The offensive speech was delivered at a Hindu Yuva Sangh meeting held in New Delhi August and uploaded on the Sri Ram Channel on You Tube in September. The complaint alleged that “He instigates the gathering for intrusion and invasion against a particular minority community i.e. Muslims; and falsely claims that the sacred and consecrated place of worships of Muslims ‘Kabah’ actually has an idol of Hindu’s Lord Shiva inside.”

Despite the multitude of cases lodged against him, there is no action against Raja Singh from either his party or the local police. A glance at the BJP Telengana website revealed that he is also an Office Bearer as the party whip in Telengana. A ‘whip’ is an official of a political party appointed to maintain parliamentary discipline among its members, especially so as to ensure attendance and voting in debates.

The police needs the state’s permission to prosecute Singh, as he is a sitting member of the Legislative Assembly. In July 2017, Telangana’s Law Department issued a Government Order (GO) that gave permission to prosecute BJP MLA Raja Singh for a 2013 case of hate speech. A day later he dared the authorities, “You can book cases on me. I have no problem. More than 50 cases were booked under me during the Congress rule for my ‘Gau Raksha’ activities. However, I will continue my ‘Gau Raksha’ and continue serving my Hindu brothers and my country, till my dying breath.”

That was four months ago. It seems to have had no impact to deter Raja Singh. He is carrying on with the same fervour and has now threatened to burn down theatres over the screening of a film. Does BJP not have a problem with the actions and speeches of Raja Singh? Have they initiated any disciplinary proceedings against their MLA? Why is this person who is a repeat offender still in the party?