Posturing by partners in Bihar
Posturing over the Ramcharitmanas controversy has continued in the Bihar Grand Alliance partners Janata Dal United (JDU) and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) as the latter projected their leader Tejashwi Prasad Yadav as the potential chief minister.
Leaders of both parties also lashed out at each other.
The projection of Tejashwi as the chief minister came on Monday at a time chief minister Nitish Kumar has made it clear that he would be at the helm of affairs till 2025 Assembly elections.
Matters came to a head despite Tejashwi asking RJD leaders and ministers to “avoid making useless comments to spark controversies related to religion, respect all religious gospels and not raise issues like temple, mosques, Hindus and Muslims that are liked by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).”
He also said that the Grand Alliance was going strong. However, Tejashwi, who returned from Delhi on Sunday, did not criticise his party leader and education minister Chandrashekhar for calling Ramcharitmanas a “book that spread hatred in the society.”
The education minister, while addressing the 15th convocation of Nalanda University (NU) in Patna last week, had also asserted that Ramcharitmanas was against the education of the backward classes, Dalits and women and carried forward the hatred propagated by Manu Smriti.
He equated it with late Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief M.S. Golwalkar’s book ‘Bunch of Thoughts’.
The JDU leaders had been demanding that Chandrashekhar take back his comments and had been staging demonstrations at which they read Ramcharitmanas.
They had also asserted that the minister was playing into the hands of the BJP by raising such issues and insinuated that the RJD might be wishing for some concessions from the central government (in cases by central agencies on RJD chief Lalu Prasad and his family members).
Other RJD leaders did not pay heed to what Tejashwi had cautioned about and chose to attack the JDU leaders.
“Those (JDU leaders) who are speaking are the ones who went with the Bharatiya