Newly elected Janata Dal (United) MP from Bihar’s Sitamarhi Devesh Chandra Thakur said on Monday that he would “not do any work” for Muslims and Yadavs, claiming that they did not vote for him in the Lok Sabha election, The Indian Express reported.

Thakur won the constituency by 51,356 votes against the Rashtriya Janata Dal’s Arjun Ray.

The Janata Dal (United) is a key partner of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance government that assumed power for the third time after its win in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

At a function in Sitamarhi on Monday, Thakur said: “Yadavs and Muslims who come to me are welcome. They can have tea and sweets. But I will not do any work for them.”

He later said that he can do any work for the common public but he will not do the personal work of Yadavs and Muslims.

His remarks sparked criticism from within his party as well as from the Rashtriya Janata Dal. Janata Dal (United) MP from Banka Giridhari Yadav said he condemns Thakur’s remarks and demanded that he immediately apologise, according to The Indian Express.

Rashtriya Janata Dal MP Misa Bharti asked what message the Sitamarhi MP was trying to put out through such “divisive remarks”, ANI reported.

“Now, there is a double-engine government,” she said, referring to the fact that the National Democratic Alliance is in power both at the Centre and in the Bihar government. “PM Narendra Modi says that there should be sabka saath, sabka vikas [support of all, development for all]. So, why do the MPs make such statements?”

The Sitamarhi MP later stood by his remarks and claimed that he had been working for the people over the past 25 years without any discrimination. He, however, did not say how he concluded that Yadavs and Muslims did not vote for him

On June 7, Janata Dal (United) National Spokesperson KC Tyagi said that the party will not allow the government at the Centre to propagate campaigns against Muslims and other minority communities. “While we are there [in power with the BJP], no anti-Muslim, anti-minority campaign will be run,” he had said.