Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai. (Image: PTI)
Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai on Friday strongly condemned Bihar minister and RJD leader Chandra Shekhar's controversial remarks likening scriptures such as Ramcharitmanas to "potassium cyanide".
In a strongly worded statement, Rai, who is a former Bihar BJP president, alleged the remarks "betrayed a sick mentality" and were aimed at "appeasement of a section of the society".
"The remarks did not only cause hurt to Hindus, but these were also harmful to the social segment which the minister sought to appease," said Rai, referring to comments of the RJD leader, who holds the education portfolio, and had allegedly made the controversial utterances while criticising the caste system.
Rai said, "It is the RJD, known for patronising criminals and indulging in corruption, that deserves to be compared to cyanide. So do all its allies, including (Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's) JD(U)." He also added, "The 'ghamandia' (arrogant) coalition stands exposed and the people of the country will punish all its constituents in the Lok Sabha polls next year." Notably, the state minister allegedly made the remarks late on Thursday evening and it created a furore when a video clip, the authenticity of which PTI could not independently verify, went viral on social media.
Criticism has come from BJP allies such as Rashtriya Lok Janata Dal headed by former Union minister Upendra Kushwaha. The RLJD national secretary general and spokesman has come out with a strongly worded tweet criticising Chandra Shekhar.
Senior JD(U) leader and state minister Shravan Kumar also voiced disapproval of the utterances of his cabinet colleague, saying, "Nobody should speak anything that hurts religious sentiments."
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