Another JD(U) politician, Upendra Kushwaha, questioned the RJD leadership’s silence over the controversial statement of the education minister and also RJD MLA Sudhakar Singh.
‘I spoke the truth’: Bihar education minister defends his controversial remarks on Ramcharitmanas
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Kushwaha alleged that Chandra Shekhar and Sudhakar, by issuing controversial statements, were directly benefiting BJP.
The minister, while addressing the convocation ceremony of Nalanda Open University on Wednesday, had claimed that “Ramcharitmanas” and the “Manusmriti” “spread hatred in society by talking about preventing Dalits, backwards and women from getting education”.
“‘Ramcharitmanas’ is a ‘dharohar’ (treasure) of this country. No one can reject this epic. Even the great socialist leader Ram Manohar Lohia used to hold a Ramayan fair during his lifetime,” Neeraj told TOI on Saturday.
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Chandra Shekhar’s remarks have not only divided the governing alliance but also his own party, RJD. After RJD state president Jagadanand Singh supported Chandra Shekhar on the controversial comments, RJD senior politician and national vice-president Shivanand Tiwari criticised both for creating a bad perception about the party. Tiwari said Jagadanand’s support for Chandrashekhar was his personal stand and not that of the party, which should discuss it in the presence of deputy CM Tejashwi Prasad Yadav.
While talking to TOI over the phone, Tiwari said, “I am the national vice-president of RJD, but no such discussion was held with me (by Jagadanand) over the issue. How can he claim that the party has supported Chandra Shekhar’s statement? Is Jagadanand a synonym for RJD?”
Bihar education minister Chandrashekhar booked for hurting Hindu sentiments with his remarks on Ramcharitmanas
Kushwaha, meanwhile, said on Saturday that speaking on BJP’s agenda means playing on their pitch, which will directly benefit the saffron party.
However, the minister’s remarks are not the only instance of the growing rift between CM Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) and the Lalu Prasad-led RJD.
On Wednesday when JD(U) national president Rajiv Ranjan, alias Lalan Singh, threatened not to allow the Ganga Vilas cruise in Bihar, RJD leader and deputy CM Tejashwi Prasad Yadav not only attended its inaugural function via a video link on Thursday and praised the Centre’s efforts but also assured PM Narendra Modi that the Bihar government would extend all possible assistance to cruise passengers. Tejashwi also praised the Centre for running the Ganga Vilas cruise through Bihar.
‘Ram Charit Manas’ and ‘Manu Smriti’, spread hatred in the society,’ says Bihar Education Minister
A few days ago, Lalan had accused the Modi government of wasting money on the Ganga Vilas cruise, calling it “a robbery of public money (sic)”. He said, “Every year the silt deposited in the Ganga will be cleaned to run the cruise and again it will be filled with silt during floods.”
Among the other incidents was the one on January 3, when the state government had organised an event on Nitish’s pet project, “Jal-Jeevan-Hariyali Abhiyan”, but none of the RJD ministers, not even Tejashwi, attended it.
Before this, former agriculture minister Sudhakar Singh, who is the son of RJD state president Jagadanand Singh, had described Nitish as “Shikhandi”, a character in the Mahabharata. Despite the hue and cry raised by JD(U), the RJD leadership did not take any action against Sudhakar. Another RJD MLA, Vijay Kumar Mandal, had recently criticised the style of functioning of the Nitish-led government, but no action was taken against him either.
Questioning the RJD leadership’s silence over its errant legislators, Kushwaha asked Tejashwi on Saturday why he was not taking action against his MLAs who were openly abusing “our leader Nitish Kumar”.