The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Minister in superstition storm

Patna, Sept. 24 (PTI): Union minister Sanjay Paswan’s gesture of honouring 51 witch doctors, occultists, sorcerers and faith healers has raised a controversy with Laloo Prasad Yadav demanding that he be sacked from the Vajpayee ministry for promoting superstition.

“Sanjay Paswan should be immediately sacked from the Union ministry for flouting the provisions of the Prevention of Witchcraft Practices Act, 1999, of Bihar and for spreading superstition,” the Rashtriya Janata Dal chief said.

He described Paswan’s gesture “as part of the BJP’s ploy” to fool the masses.

On Monday, Paswan walked on embers barefoot and brandished swords to the delight of sorcerers and faith healers. He had also announced that his ministry would open two centres for research in faith healing.

Paswan countered the RJD chief’s salvo by saying Laloo Prasad should take the help of faith healers to hold back his dwindling support base.

“I have not done anything wrong. Even the World Health Organisation acknowledges faith healing as a potent tool for healing the body and the mind,” the minister said.

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