‘Such People Have no Religion’: Nitish Kumar Hits Back at Giriraj Singh Over Iftar Tweets
Giriraj Singh's comments forced Union home minister Amit Shah to instruct him to refrain from making such remarks in the future.
Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar offers sewaiyan (a traditional sweet dish) to Muslim children after the Eid-ul-Fitr prayers at Gandhi Maidan in Patna, Wednesday, June 5, 2019. (PTI)
New Delhi: Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, who was Union Minister Giriraj Singh’s target for attending an iftar party along with other leaders of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), delivered a stinging comeback. Kumar accused Singh of making such remarks to garner publicity/
"Giriraj, I will not give any reaction to what he said. Some people have developed an attitude of saying unnecessary things to remain in the limelight so that media cover them. Such people have no religion as every religion preaches respect and love for each other," news agency ANI quoted Kumar as saying. He was speaking to reporters after joining Muslims in prayers at a mosque on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr.
Kumar also extended his good wishes to citizens, especially the Muslim community.
The BJP MP from Begusarai had targetted Kumar and Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan for participating in an iftar party and posing a picture to display their love for the holy month of Ramadan. BJP’s own senior leader and Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Modi was also present on the occasion.
The photographs were from iftar parties hosted by Paswan and opposition leader Jitan Ram Manjhi in Patna.
"Why do we lag behind in our religion and rituals and lead in display for other," Singh said in a tweet, adding that the image would have been beautiful had they organised "phalahar on Navratra (vegetarian fare on Navratra)," Singh had written.
After a huge backlash, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday had asked Singh to avoid making such statements.
A known detractor of Kumar since the days when he served in the state cabinet under him, Singh appeared to have aimed his barb specifically at the chief minister as all photographs featured him wearing a skullcap and a namaz kerchief covering his shoulders.
The tweet from Singh, whose hardline Hindutva views have often sparked controversies, drew sharp reactions from BJP's allies, with LJP leader Chirag Paswan saying that his remarks amounted to questioning Indian traditions.
Hitting back at Singh, Chirag Paswan had said his party believed in "sabka saath, sabka vikas, sabka vishwas", a slogan coined by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a recent NDA meeting.
JD(U) leader and state minister Ashok Chowdhury had said, "Had anybody stopped Giriraj from arranging 'phalahaar' during Navaratra? I wish to warn him, not the entire BJP, but him alone, that he must refrain from making such statements."
"Giriraj must remember that his party is part of a coalition government in Bihar and he owes his big victory in the Lok Sabha polls in no small measure to the support of our leader (Nitish Kumar)," Chowdhury said.
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