New Delhi: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday asked Giriraj Singh to avoid making statements following the latter's tweet aimed at Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar and Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) leader Ram Vilas Paswan.
The BJP MP from Begusarai had targetted Kumar and Paswan for holding an iftar party and posing a picture to display their love for the holy month of Ramadan.
The photographs were of 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 posted the comment along with a picture of Kumar, Paswan and Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi holding each other's hands at the iftar on Monday night. 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.
Reacting to Singh's tweet, Kumar told news agency ANI, "He does all this so that media makes news out of it."
Nitish's JDU and Paswan's LJP are allies of the Bharatiya Janata Party.
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 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 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.
(With inputs from agencies)