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Bihar CM Nitish says loudspeakers row ‘nonsense’, won’t get into religious matter

The Bihar CM's statement comes soon after the Yogi Adityanath government's move in UP to take down loudspeakers from religious places in a bid to “curb noise pollution”

Written by Santosh Singh | Patna |
Updated: May 1, 2022 7:09:06 am
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar conducts an aerial survey of Karauta-Rajgir road, in Patna. (PTI)

Wading into the loudspeaker row, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Saturday said there is no question of taking them down from religious places and added that the Bihar government will not “interfere” with any religious practice.

He also called the controversy around use of loudspeakers at places of worship as “nonsense”.

Talking to reporters in Purnea, where he launched the country’s first greenfield grain-based ethanol plant, Nitish said: “Yeh fizul ki baat hai. Bihar me humlog kisi bhi dharm ke maamle mein hastakshep nahi karte hain. Sabhi ko apna dharm maanne ka pura adhikar hai (this is nonsense. In Bihar, we do not interfere in matters of anyone’s religion. One is free to profess and follow one’s religion).”

The Bihar Chief Minister’s statement comes soon after the Yogi Adityanath government’s move in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh to take down loudspeakers from religious places in a bid to “curb noise pollution”. The BJP is also backing MNS chief Raj Thackeray and other opponents of loudspeakers in Maharashtra in an effort to embarrass the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena, which, under late Bal Thackeray, was one of the earliest proponents of removing loudspeakers at places of worship, especially mosques.

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Some Bihar BJP leaders, including state minister Janak Ram, has backed the UP government’s move. He had said on Friday, “The UP government has taken the step of taking down loudspeakers to curb noise pollution. It has gone by rules.”

JD(U) minister and Janak Ram’s ministerial colleague Ashok Kumar Choudhary had promptly hit back, saying, “There is no need to bring down loudspeakers from religious places. There are other ways to curb noise pollution.”

While this was seen as yet another instance of leaders from the alliance partners snapping at each other, Deputy Chief Minister Tarkishore Prasad of BJP tried to play down the matter by saying that the NDA in Bihar is as “as strong as ever”.

On Nitish’s remarks in Purnea, a JD(U) leader said on Saturday, “Nitish Kumar has never compromised with matters of religious harmony. He often talks about the three Cs: Crime, Corruption and Communalism. The state government also took stern action against those trying to disturb communal harmony during recent Ramnavami processions.”

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