Union minister Giriraj Singh on Tuesday mocked Bihar politicians, including a leader of his organisation – the Bharatiya Janata Party – for attending an Iftar party.
“How beautiful would this picture have been if a Navratri meal would have been organised with the same eagerness,” Singh said in a tweet while sharing a photo of BJP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi, Janata Dal (United) leader and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Lok Janshakti Party’s Ram Vilas Paswan and Chirag Paswan, and Hindustan Awami Morcha leader Jitan Ram Manjhi at an Iftar feast. “Why do we hold back on our own faith and get into pretence?” he added. All the leaders were seen in white kurtas, a traditional cap and scarves.
Singh, who is infamous for his inflammatory speeches, won the Begusarai Lok Sabha seat, defeating Communist Party of India candidate Kanhaiya Kumar by a margin of 4.22 lakh votes in the recently-concluded elections.
BJP president and Union Home Minister of Home Affairs Amit Shah rebuked Singh for his remarks, and asked him to avoid making such statements, said multiple reports.
“He [Giriraj Singh] does all that so that media makes news out of it”, ANI quoted Nitish Kumar as saying.
Earlier in the afternoon, Singh’s remarks drew condemnation from Janata Dal (United) spokesperson Sanjay Singh, NDTV reported. “He’s in the habit of making such statements and needs a mental check-up now,” Singh said.
Chirag Paswan, who is Ram Vilas Paswan’s son, said: “Everyone knows what kind of man Giriraj Singh ji is.” He added that the party “would like to tell him that we observe all festivals, whether Navratri or Ramzan”.
The BJP-Janata Dal (United) alliance has been under strain recently, after the Narendra Modi-led government offered Nitish Kumar’s party just one seat in the Union Cabinet. Kumar rejected the arrangement and declined the offer. On Sunday, Kumar expanded the Bihar cabinet, inducting eight Janata Dal (United) MLAs, while offering the BJP just one seat.
After the state Cabinet expansion, Kumar’s deputy Sushil Kumar Modi tweeted: “Nitish Kumar has offered BJP to fill the vacant ministerial seat. BJP decided to fill it in future.”
Nitish Kumar has claimed he is not unhappy with the BJP. “Vacancies from JD(U) quota in the Cabinet were empty so JD(U) leaders were inducted,” he told ANI on Sunday. “There is no issue with BJP, everything is fine.”