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Even sadhus ate beef, says RJD leader.

Raghuvansh adds his bit to beef row, party distances itself

CAMPAIGNING for the first- phase of the Assembly elections in Bihar came to an end on Saturday but there was no let- up in the unsavoury controversies surrounding the polls.

Former Union minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh kicked up a fresh row by asserting that the old sages and hermits used to eat beef as per the ancient scriptures such as the Vedas and the Puranas.

Dismissing the row arising out of RJD president Lalu Prasad's recent " Hindus- eat- beef" remarks as a non- issue, the veteran party leader said that such issues were being created by the BJP to divert the real issues of the election such as employment generation, back money and problems of the farmers. " As far as the issue of beef eating is concerned, this is a subject of academic debate," he said.

Raghuvansh's remarks evoked sharp reactions from the BJP leaders who accused him of adding fuel to the fire at the behest of Lalu by making such statements. Union minister of state Giriraj Singh said that Raghuvansh's statement was part of the grand alliance's plan to divide society.

" First, Lalu Prasad tried to divide the society on the backward- forward lines," he said. " He later said that the Hindus ate beef. Now, Raghuvansh Prasad is saying that the sages used to eat beef. This is an outright insult to the Hindus who will never tolerate this." The minister, himself known for making provocative speeches in the past, sought to know why Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was silent on Lalu and Raghuvansh's remarks.

BJP's national spokesman Syed Shahnawaz Hussain said that such statements were the signs of imminent defeat of the grand alliance.

The RJD, however, sought to defend Raghuvansh by saying that his remarks were not in the context of the Bihar elections.

Raghuvansh's remarks were in continuation of a series of controversial statements made by different leaders in the course of the campaign for the 49 seats in the 10 districts where polling was scheduled to be held on October 12.

In recent days, various leaders from different parties have dubbed their political rivals as " shaitan ( devil), chara chor ( fodder stealer) and brahm- apichash ( blood- sucking spirit), forcing the Election Commission of India to remind the political parties to desist from using intemperate language.

Voting will take place in 49 constituencies of 10 districts in the first phase of polls.

Bihar Chief Minister RJD chief Lalu Prasad

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Oct 11, 2015
Words:430
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