Patna: The state president of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Bihar, Nityanand Rai, has landed in a major controversy after he threatened to chop off the hands of those pointing fingers at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a statement which received wide condemnation from all quarters.
Rai, who is also a parliamentarian, made the open threat while addressing a function in Patna on Monday.
He made the remarks in the presence of several top party leaders and ministers, including deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the son of a poor man and he should be honoured. Any fingers or hands raised at him should be either broken or chopped off,” he said while addressing a function in Patna.
He said Modi faced many hardships in his childhood before reaching his position.
As the comments drew widespread condemnation, Rai later said he regretted his remarks and claimed they were being misinterpreted.
“What I said was a proverb in Hindi. It was used to convey the point that we will sternly deal with those who rise against country’s pride [Modi]. But if this has hurt anybody’s sentiments I expressed my regret,” Rai said on Tuesday.
The main opposition party, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) came down heavily on the state BJP chief for these remarks.
“What kind of people have come into politics,” reacted RJD president Lalu Prasad and asked, “How can the BJP speak about honour, something it doesn’t have?”
The Congress party also launched massive attacks on the BJP parliamentarian.
“The people making such statements in public should be instantly arrested. If this doesn’t happen then we will understand he has the tacit consent of the Prime Minister,” senior Congress leader Anand Sharma told the media in Delhi.
Such controversy though is nothing new with BJP politicians. Only last month, federal BJP minister Giriraj Singh said Hindustan (India) doesn’t belong to Khawaja (an honorific title for Sufi teachers), it is of Mother India.
“Those who wanted to make Khawaja’s India had in 1947 gone to Pakistan,” the minister said.
He had kicked another such controversy during in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls when he said those opposed to Modi should go to Pakistan.
Yet another minister from Bihar in the Modi government Ashwini Kumar Choubey also has a penchant for creating controversies. Choubey, as health minister in the Bihar government, had earlier threatened to chop off the hands of striking doctors.
He also passed derogatory remarks against Congress president Sonia Gandhi, terming her as “Putana”, a mythological demon woman.