Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh Congress chief Raj Babbar on Monday warned the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) against making statements on Lord Hanuman, suggesting that the party lost the recently concluded elections in three states by dragging the deity into politics.
The Congress leader's remarks came amid a row over Lord Hanuman's caste triggered by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath when he called the deity a Dalit during a rally in the run-up to the Rajasthan Assembly elections.
"Don't trouble Lord Hanuman too much. With a swipe of his tail, the BJP lost elections in three states. Now their Lanka will be on fire," he told reporters here.
While addressing a rally in Rajasthan's Alwar district, Adityanath had said, "Hanuman was a forest dweller, deprived and a Dalit. Bajrang Bali worked to unite all Indian communities, from north to south and east to west."
A few days later, National Commission for Scheduled Tribes chairperson Nand Kumar Sai had claimed that Lord Hanuman was a tribal.
Last week, Bukkal Nawab, a BJP MLC from Uttar Pradesh, claimed that the monkey god was a Muslim while UP's Religious Affairs Minister Laxmi Narayan Chaudhary stated that the Hindu deity belonged to the Jat community.
Samajwadi Party's national general secretary and former MP Rama Shankar Vidyarthi had claimed that Lord Hanuman belonged to tribal 'Gond' community.