Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday took exception to Union minister Giriraj Singh’s controversial comment about “beating up” government officials, reported NDTV. The Bharatiya Janata Party is a part of the ruling alliance in the state.

On Saturday, speaking at an event near his parliamentary constituency in Bihar’s Begusarai, Singh said that people should resort to assaulting officials with bamboo sticks if their problems remained unsolved.

“I tell them MPs, MLAs, DMs [district magistrates], SDMs [sub-divisional magistrates], BDOs [block development officers]...they are under you [the public],” Singh said. “You go to them with your matters, you do not need to tell that to Giriraj...if your rights are violated, Giriraj will stand with you...They say ‘he’s not listening to us’. If he is not listening, take a bamboo stick and beat him up.”

However, the Bihar chief minister initially refused to comment on the matter, but later asked if such remarks were appropriate. “You should ask him,” he said, according to NDTV. After this, Kumar elaborated: “Using words like ‘pitai [beating]’...Is that appropriate? Ask him only.”

Meanwhile, Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashwi Yadav also tweeted a video clipping of Singh’s speech, criticising him and the Bihar government.

“Union minister Giriraj Singh is saying there is anarchy in Bihar,” he tweeted. “The officials do not pay heed to anyone. The chief minister is weak, so hit them with bamboo sticks. The Nitish government lodges FIRs against journalists but rewards ministers who spread violence.”