Ruling RJD and JD-U Divided over Chandrashekhar’s Remark Spreading Hatred
Bihar Education Minister Chandrashekhar. Image Courtesy: Twitter@ProfShekharRJD (Screen Short)
Patna: Two days after Bihar Education Minister Chandrashekhar’s statement that the Hindu epic poem 'Ramcharitmanas' spread hatred, the ruling Mahagathbandhan in the state is a divided house. Chandrashekhar, a senior Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader, got the full support of his party state president Jagdanand Singh on Friday. However, Janata Dal (United) (JD-U’s) senior leader Ashok Choudhary, who is a Minister in Bihar, opposed his statement and claimed that such a thing has been creating an anti-Hindu image of ruling parties of the Mahagathbandhan, which is far from the truth.
Other allies of Mahagathbandhan including Congress, Left parties and the Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) are maintaining a total silence over Chandrashekhar’s statement so far.
Chandrashekhar, a senior RJD leader, on Wednesday sparked the row during his speech at the convocation of Patna-based Nalanda Open University. He claimed that religious texts like 'Ramacharitmanas' spread hatred just as 'Manusmriti' and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) ideologue MS Golwalkar’s ‘Bunch of Thoughts’ created a social divide.
Despite facing flack from the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), whose leaders repeatedly demanded his apology and removal from his ministerial post, Chandra Shekhar on Friday told NewsClick that his statement was based on facts and there was no question of making an apology. ”Why should I apologise?” he said.
Singh told the media here that party (RJD) stand with Chandra Shekhar and will give a befitting reply to “kamandal” on this issue. ”I have assured Chandra Shekhar that there was no need to retreat over the issue, we are pro-Mandal party that is always ready to fight against Kamandal”.
Choudhary, a Dalit face of JD-U, expressed his strong reservation about Chandrashekhar’s statement. “We do not support his statement on Ramcharitmanas as it is closely linked with the faith of the Hindu community,” he said.
Interestingly, neither Chief Minister Nitish Kumar nor his deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav have reacted yet. Both have tried their best to ignore queries from the media to date.
However, several BJP leaders including Union Ministers Giriraj Singh, Ashwani Kumar Choubey, Nityanad Rai, Bihar leader of opposition Vijay Kumar Sinha, state BJP president Sanjay Jaiswal, former deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi repeatedly condemned and attacked Chandrashekhar during the last three days.
Vishwa Hindu Parishad and other right-wing organisations have threatened to protest against Chandrashekhar If he failed to apologise for his statement.
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