BJP man who washed MP's feet acted on promise

BJP worker Pawan Kumar Sah, 50, who washed his party MP Nishikant Dubey's feet and drank that water at a public event in Godda on Sunday, said on Tuesday he would have killed himself had he been restrained from expressing his emotions on a day Dumka Congress members waved black flags at Dubey for allowing himself to be treated "as god".

By Vijay Deo Jha in Ranchi
  • Published 19.09.18
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JOINT FRONT: A Facebook grab of Godda MP Nishikant Dubey and BJP worker Pawan Sah at Monday's news meet

Ranchi: BJP worker Pawan Kumar Sah, 50, who washed his party MP Nishikant Dubey's feet and drank that water at a public event in Godda on Sunday, said on Tuesday he would have killed himself had he been restrained from expressing his emotions on a day Dumka Congress members waved black flags at Dubey for allowing himself to be treated "as god".

Congress workers, who the MP is targeting for allegedly encroaching a chunk of land in Dumka, slammed Dubey for a "feudal, casteist mindset", referring to the Sunday's incident where Sah washed the MP's feet at Kanhara village while laying the foundation of a 1km-long bridge over Kaijhia river.

The MP who posted the video on Facebook on Monday as "gratitude" to Sah, also held a news meet jointly with Sah in Godda the same evening, asking people not to politicise this act of love.

Speaking to The Telegraph on Tuesday, Sah said MP Dubey tried to stop him. "I told him I am carrying a knife, if he stops me I will kill myself. What's wrong if I washed his feet?" Sah said, adding he had "taken a public oath to wash the feet of the person who builds a bridge for us".

Associated with the BJP and RSS for three decades, Sah added his "adoration" was a "personal matter".

"Nobody forced me to wash the MP's feet, no body has the right to troll me. I will file a complaint against those who abused me and our MP. We have all seen how children were forced to wade through the river to attend school. Seventy thousand people across 15 panchayats have wanted the bridge for the past 70 years," he said, adding his portrayal as a "joker" pained him.

Asked why he posted the video of Sah's devotion, MP Dubey told this paper on Tuesday that he knew his rivals would circulate the video to malign his image. "So I decided to let people know the facts for myself. His (Sah's) gesture made me feel humble. I had no intention of showing my own greatness," the MP said.

Dubey recalled an earlier incident in 2014 when Sah used a blade to cut his thumb and put a bloody tilak on his (Dubey's) forehead.

"During Sunday's event, he suddenly came on the dais with a plate and announced he would wash my feet. I politely stopped him but he refused saying he would kill himself. Given the past incident (tilak), I got apprehensive. So he washed my feet. When I turned towards my seat, he drank the water from the plate, which I could not see. I am a small man in front of devoted workers like Sah," said Dubey, who earlier stoked controversy by announcing funds for the legal aid of lynched accused.

Residents of Godda said Sah was given to extreme displays of emotion. "He once jumped off a building when somebody asked him if he would risk jumping for Narendra Modi," said N. Kishore, a resident of Godda.

But the Congress is not buying this. "This is a brazen display of casteism (Dubey is a Brahmin). The incident was scripted by the MP who wants to be portrayed as god," said former Godda district Congress president Deepika Singh Pandey.