Even as Giriraj Singh’s controversial tweet on ‘Iftar’ parties hosted by NDA partners drew a strong reaction from JD(U), BJP president Amit Shah Tuesday called up the Union minister and asked him to desist from making such statements, news agency ANI reported.
Shah’s call followed Bihar Chief Minister and JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar downplaying Singh’s remark. “He (Giriraj Singh) does all this so that media makes news out of it,” Kumar was quoted as saying by ANI.
In a tweet, the BJP leader had questioned why leaders lag behind in observing their own religious customs and instead indulge in showing off.
कितनी खूबसूरत तस्वीर होती जब इतनी ही चाहत से नवरात्रि पे फलाहार का आयोजन करते और सुंदर सुदंर फ़ोटो आते??…अपने कर्म धर्म मे हम पिछड़ क्यों जाते और दिखावा में आगे रहते है??? pic.twitter.com/dy7s1UgBgy
— Shandilya Giriraj Singh (@girirajsinghbjp) June 4, 2019
“How beautiful would the picture have emerged, had phalaahaar (a fruit feast) been organized during Navaratra with the same fervour with splendid photographs taken. Why do we lag behind in observance of our own karm-dharm (religious customs) in public, while staying ahead in making a show for those of others,” Singh tweeted in Hindi, while attaching photographs taken at Iftar parties hosted hosted in Patna by the JD(U) and former CM Jitan Ram Manjhi’s HAM and NDA ally Lok Janshakti Party, headed by Ram Vilas Paswan.
Notably, in one of the photographs taken at the Iftar, Kumar was sharing space with his deputy Sushil Kumar Modi—a senior BJP leader who was among the hosts. The Iftar meet came amid reports that the JD(U), which is in alliance with the BJP, was not happy with the saffron party offering it only one seat in the Union Cabinet.
Reacting to Singh’s remark, JD(U) MLC and state minister Ashok Chowdhury said, “Had anybody stopped Giriraj from arranging phalahaar during Navaratra? I wish to warn him, not the entire BJP, but him alone that he must refrain from making such statements.”
“Giriraj must remember that his party is part of a coalition government in Bihar and he owes his stupendous victory in the Lok Sabha polls in no small measure to the support of our leader (Nitish Kumar),” he added.
Singh has been a known detractor of Kumar since the days when he served in the state cabinet. In his tweet, Singh appeared to have targeted the chief minister specifically as all photographs featured him wearing a skullcap and a namaz kerchief covering his shoulders.
In the recently-held general elections, Singh retained the Begusarai seat for the BJP, defeating CPI’s Kanhaiya Kumar by a margin of over four lakh votes.