BJP MP Udit Raj backtracks after saying eating beef helped Usain Bolt win nine Olympic golds
The Dalit leader had said the meat was a source of a protein for the Jamaican athlete, and has in the past spoken up against cow vigilante groups.
Bharatiya Janata Party MP Udit Raj on Monday quickly clarified his tweets from the previous day that Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt had won nine gold medals at the Olympics because he ate beef. In a new tweet, he said, "I intended to convey-players & society to look at ways to win in games rather blaming circumstances & Govt & eating is their choice [sic]." He said his comment on Bolt was "not even remotely connected" to advocating beef eating, and that he was merely reproducing Bolt's trainer's sentiments.
Raj had taken a seemingly divergent stand from his party’s view of the meat and its consumption. CNN News18 later quoted the Delhi legislator as saying that he was in favour of Indians, too, eating beef and that the BJP had never said they should not. Raj added that Bolt was poor and ate beef as a source of protein.
Raj’s original tweet was retweeted nearly 200 times, with some praising him for his stand, while others slammed him. However, the party has not responded to his comments yet.
The Dalit leader represents the Delhi North-West constituency, is the chairperson of the All India Confederation of SC/ST Organizations and a member of the BJP’s national executive. In July, he had criticised cow vigilante groups and their attacks on Dalits, saying, “the so-called protectors of the Hindu religion must answer if they consider lives of Dalits to be worth to be of less value than animal.” Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal had at the time supported his comments, asking Raj to resign from the BJP.