The National General Secretary of India’s ruling right-wing BJP Party warned Wednesday that Democratic frontrunner Bernie Sanders was “compelling” India to interfere in the U.S. presidential election against him.
“How much ever neutral we wish to be you compel us to play a role in Presidential elections,” Secretary B.L. Santhosh said in a since-deleted tweet, adding, “Sorry to say so … but you are compelling us.”
The statement came in a response to a tweet from Sanders who condemned President Donald Trump for failing to speak out against anti-Muslim mob violence that rocked India’s capital earlier this week while Trump was visiting Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“Over 200 million Muslims call India home. Widespread anti-Muslim mob violence has killed at least 27 and injured many more. Trump responds by saying, ‘That’s up to India.’ This is a failure of leadership on human rights,” Sanders said.
Re-posting this video after verifying its authenticity. It is from Delhi. Men marching on top of a mosque, vandalising it and placing a saffron flag over it. pic.twitter.com/bScgJMxKc3
— Rana Ayyub (@RanaAyyub) February 25, 2020
In recent months, India has seen sustained mass protests against a new citizenship law championed by Modi and his Hindu-nationalist BJP party that rights groups fear is designed to marginalize India’s Muslim minority.
In New Delhi on Monday, armed Hindu mobs attacked protesters, torched mosques, and terrorized Muslim communities in the worst sectarian violence India has seen in decades.
The carnage left at least 27 people dead, though the identities of those killed have not yet been confirmed.
After winning the popular vote in the first three primary contests, Sanders has emerged a the front runner for the Democratic nomination heading into the pivotal “Super Tuesday” contests on March 3, when 14 states will hold polls.
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