Sillitti calls out Jha for ‘hateful rhetoric’ in tweets

Sillitti calls out Jha for ‘hateful rhetoric’ in tweets
Vibhuti Jha. The Nassau Republican Party and incumbent Democratic Gina Sillitti both condemned the Republican candidate in Nassau County's 16th Assembly District for what they are calling hateful tweets. (Photo courtesy of Vibhuti Jha)

The Nassau Republican Party and incumbent Democratic Assemblywoman Gina Sillitti both condemned Vibhuti Jha, her Republican opponent in Nassau County’s 16th Assembly District, for what they are calling hateful tweets.

Jha, 70, of Port Washington, is a first-time candidate for the Republican and Conservative parties. A specialist in business turnaround and a former banker, he hopes to flip District 16.

Democratic officials obtained copies of his tweets and sent them to Newsday. They included remarks about Muslims, Christians and Sikhs between 2019 and February 2022. Among his claims were that Islam has no concept of reciprocity or respect for others and that Christianity and Islam are not inclusive religions.

“Islam might consider fighting its own definition of who they are!” Jha tweeted Feb. 16. “That will help the rest of humanity!!”

Another tweet from Dec. 28, 2020, said: “The ‘asylum’ racket for US immigration by Sikhs is real — it must be exposed. Those fake asylum seeks are ‘required to’ stand and protest ANY thing against India!”

Jha, who is a Hindu from India, has since apologized and deleted the posts.

“My goals and priorities in life are focused on bringing people together and celebrating diversity,” he told Newsday. “What’s more, I am focused on supporting different views and perspectives.”

Nassau GOP spokesman Mike Deery said in a statement that the party strongly opposes hate-fueled language.

“We are united with Muslim and Sikh communities who have been the subject of disgusting, uninformed and hateful tweets,” he said. “The Nassau County Republican Committee condemns this ugly display in the strongest possible terms.”

Sillitti also denounced Jha’s tweets in a statement and emphasized that one’s words matter.

“While I appreciate the GOP denouncing hateful rhetoric,” she said. “Just days after what he said was brought to light, they featured my opponent on stage at their rally Monday and proudly announced him. How disappointing.”

Assembly District 16 comprises Great Neck, Manhasset, Port Washington, Herricks, Mineola, Baxter Estates, parts of East Williston, Old Westbury, Roslyn Estates, Roslyn, Albertson, Williston Park and New Hyde Park.


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