Bihar Education Minister On Ramcharitmanas Row. Watch

New Delhi: Bihar Education Minister Chandrashekhar on Friday said that he stands by his statement on ‘Ramcharitmanas’ that stoked a huge controversy in the state, new agwncy ANI reported.

“How many times do I say the same thing? I spoke the truth, I stand by it. What do I have to do with whatever anyone says,” ANI quoted the Bihar minister as saying.

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Notably, Chandrashekhar, who holds the education portfolio in Bihar, had commented on ‘Ramcharitmanas’, arguably the most popular version of Ramayana penned by medieval saint Goswami Tulsidas, at the convocation event of Nalanda Open University on Wednesday.

Later, when accosted by reporters, he dug in his heels and said, “Manu Smriti, Ramcharitmanas and Bunch of Thoughts (written by RSS ideologue M S Golwalkar) have promoted hatred in the society. A reason why these (works) face opposition from Dalits and OBCs”.

His remarks on ‘Ramcharitmanas’ triggered widespread outrage among Hindu seers and the Opposition BJP, who demanded Chandrashekhar’s dismissal from the government.

Earlier, on Thursday, the Opposition leader in the Bihar Assembly, Vijay Sinha, called for filing an FIR against the education minister and also demanded Tejashwi Yadav should clear his stand on this issue.

Speaking to the media, Vijay Sinha said that there are provisions to register FIR under the relevant Indian Penal Code (IPC) Sections of religious criticism and criticising God.  

Meanwhile, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday said he will speak to his cabinet colleague over the ongoing row.

“I don’t know about the matter. But I will enquire (humko pata nahin hai. Hum poochh lenge unse),” Kumar said, replying to queries from journalists in Darbhanga district, which he visited as part of his state-wide mass outreach drive ‘Samadhan Yatra’.

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