‘Are you Pak supporters’: Bihar minister to media persons for not chanting ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’
Bihar minister Vinod Kumar Singh on triggered sparked a controversy when he called media persons “supporters of Pakistan” who did not shout “Bharat Mata ki Jai” during a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) function.
Earlier in the same function, Bihar BJP President Nityanand Rai said "sound of 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai' should replace azhan from mosques and sounds of bells from churches". Later he took U-turn and asserted he did not say so.
Vinod Kumar Singh, who is the Minister of Mines and Geology from BJP quota in the Janata Dal-United-BJP government led by Nitish Kumar, asked all people to join him in loudly shouting "Bharat Mata Ki Jai" before ending the Sankalp Sammelan of the BJP here to honour all the 12 ministers of the party.
However, when the mediapersons present in the function did not shout "Bharat Mata Ki Jai", he expressed his displeasure and anger over it.
"You are first sons of Bharat Mata then mediapersons. If you did not join me to loudly shout 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai', are you supporters of Pakistan Mata," Singh said.
Barring one or two mediapersons, the majority of them have neither objected nor protested against the minister.
In 2015, during the Bihar assembly polls, BJP MP Ashwani Kumar Choubey said Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and RJD chief Lalu Prasad should "go to Pakistan".
The comment follows a controversial statement by his party colleague Giriraj Singh who said: "Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad want to make Bihar a Pakistan."
Earlier, BJP President Amit Shah had said that if his party lost the Bihar assembly elections, firecrackers would be burst in Pakistan.
Soon after the function began on Tuesday, Nitayanand Rai, who is also the BJP MP from Hajipur Lok Sabha seat, said the sound of "Bharat Mata Ki Jai" and "Vande Matram" should come from mosque and church in place of ajaan and bell.
However, after realizing he has made a controversial statement, Rai corrected himself before the media and said: "I told that sound of Bharat Mata Ki Jai and Vande Matram should come from mosque and church and did not mean in place of ajaan and bell."
RJD spokespersons Bhai Virender and Shakti Yadav strongly reacted against both minister Vinod Singh and BJP leader Nitayanand Rai. "They have exposed their real agenda".
However, BJP's new ally JD-U spokesperson Rajiv Ranjan said it is a matter of personal freedom of expression."I have nothing to say over it."