Rift appears in RJD over support to Minister on ‘Ram Charit Manas’ row

Patna: A rift emerged in Bihar’s ruling RJD on Friday over Education Minister Chandra Shekhar Singh’s comments on the ‘Ram Charit Manas’ with state chief Jagadanand Singh supporting him but party national Vice President Shivanand Tiwari publicly showing his disagreement.

Tiwari, who was sitting alongside Jagadanand Singh in the party head office here, said that there was no decision in the party to object to ‘Ram Charit Manas’.

“I do not agree with the statement of Jagadanand Singh. If the party has taken a decision to object to Ram Charit Manas and Ram, a meeting should be organized in presence of Tejashwi Yadav, and a decision taken then. As far as my knowledge is concerned, there is no such decision taken by the party to object to Ram Charit Manas and Ram,” he said.

Citing socialist leader Ram Manohar Lohia, Tiwari said that he considered Ram as a ‘Mahapurush’.

“He used to organise a fair in the name of Ram… famous painter Maqbool Fida Hussain made hundreds of hoardings of Ram. He expresses his respect for Ram several times on public platforms.

“Mahatama Gandhi also believes in Ram. When he was killed, the last words from his mouth were ‘Hey Ram’. So, there are so many good things in ‘Ram Charit Manas’ and a large number of people believe in it. If we talk about Buddha, one or two people have knowledge about him but if you talk about Ram anywhere in the country, illiterate persons of the village tell you four-five stories about him,” Tiwari said.

He also said that a fake saint announcing a Rs 10 crore bounty for bringing the tongue of the Bihar Education Minister is a crime. “Who gave him authority to spread violence. FIR should be registered against him,” he said.

Jagadanand Singh, after two days of silence, said that the entire party is standing behind Yadav, and he will not take back his statement on “Ram Charit Manas”.

“The RJD cannot allow Mandal people to get defeated by people who are having the ideology of Kamandal (saffron ideology). We have a socialist ideology of Lohia Ji, of Karpoori Thakur, who fought for socialist values for his entire life. Our socialist leader Lalu Prasad Yadav is ill. Now, we have no socialist revolutionary leader but whatever they guided the path, Chandra Shekhar Ji is doing politics on it,” he said.

“Chandra Shekhar Ji would not get afraid of it. I want to assure him that the entire RJD family is standing by him. We have always fought against the Kamandal ideology and we will do so again. There is no need to step back,” he added.

Yadav, during the convocation ceremony of Nalanda Open University on Wednesday, claimed that the “Manu Smriti”, “Ram Charit Manas” and second RSS chief M.S. Golwalkar’s “Bunch of Thoughts” spread hatred in the society.

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