BJP accuses RJD MP of abusing Thakurs in Parliament
BJP workers in Bihar on Wednesday burnt effigies of RJD president Lalu Prasad and his son Tejashwi Yadav, the state's deputy chief minister, in protest against a remark made by their party's MP Manoj Jha last week.
The BJP workers alleged that Jha's speech, on the floor of the Rajya Sabha, denigrated Rajputs, who are also known as ''Thakur'' in some parts of the country.
Jha, an academician by profession and arguably the best-known spokesman of the party, had recited a poem ''Thakur Ka Kuan'', penned by noted Dalit writer Om Prakash Valmiki.
The Rajya Sabha MP, in his speech that has gone viral on social media, had made an impassioned plea for securing the rights of women from weaker sections of society, which, he alleged, the Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam failed to ensure while allocating 33 per cent seats in Parliament and state assemblies to women.
Among those who took part in the BJP demonstration against the speech was former minister Neeraj Kumar Singh ''Bablu'' who alleged that ''Tejashwi Yadav hatched a conspiracy to get Thakurs abused, inside Parliament, by his MP''.
''Unless Tejashwi and his MP tender an apology, the anger that can be seen on the streets of the state capital would spread to every Panchayat across Bihar,'' Bablu warned.
The controversy seemed to have rattled Rajputs in the RJD. Party MLA Chetan Anand, who is enjoying his first term and hopes to build his career on the clout enjoyed by his father Anand Mohan, came out with an angry statement.
''Manoj Jha spoke of killing the Thakur within. He should first slay the Brahmin within. I do not use my caste surname. I challenge him to drop the Jha suffix,'' said the young MLA, whose father walked out of jail earlier this year, after serving life imprisonment for killing an IAS officer.
Statements disapproving of Jha's remarks also came from Neeraj Kumar and Sanjay Singh, both senior leaders of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's JD(U) who seemed wary of the issue providing the BJP with an opportunity to kick up a storm.
It is understood that Jha, who enjoys the confidence of the RJD's top leadership, will ultimately have the party rally behind him.
This was reflected in replies, to the media's queries, of national vice president Shivanand Tiwary and chief spokesman Shakti Singh Yadav, both of whom said that the BJP was creating an unnecessary controversy and Chetan Anand was falling into the trap.
They also pointed out that the word ''Thakur'' had been used in the poem as a metaphor, did not target any community and, hence, was not considered unparliamentary.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)