Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader and Bihar's Education Minister Chandra Shekhar courted controversy for likening Ramcharitmanas, the epic poem by Tulsidas, to potassium cyanide. BJP leaders slammed the RJD leader and accused him of hurting Hindu sentiments.
Chandra Shekhar made the comments at an event on Hindi Diwas on September 14. "If you serve 56 kinds of dishes and mix potassium cyanide into them, would you eat them? The same analogy applies to the scriptures of Hinduism," he said.
Watch the video below
BJP slams INDIA bloc
Targetting the Opposition INDIA bloc following the RJD leader's statement, BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra said, "All the people of the INDI Alliance are full of venom for Hinduism, and it is reflected in all of their statements. He says that Ramcharitmanas is potassium cyanide. Crores of people have their devotion placed in it. Those who have the audacity to call 'Ram' a venom are questioning the basic beliefs of this country and hurting it. The public will boycott them."
Sharing the video of Chandra Shekhar's comment, BJP MP Colonel Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore said, "Chandrashekhar, RJD member and Education Minister of Bihar, has compared Ramcharitmanas to Potassium Cyanide, a poison! This is there true self."
Bihar Leader of Opposition Vijay Sinha called Chandra Shekhar's statement as "mental perversion."
"...Where is it written in the Constitution that secularism means abusing your own religion...This is mental perversion," he said.
This is not the first time that the RJD leader has found himself in a soup over Ramcharitmanas. In January, he said, "Ramcharitmanas should be burnt down as it spreads hatred against lower castes."
At the time, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar told him to take back his statement. "There shouldn't be any interference with any religion. All people of all religions should be given the freedom to practice whatever they like. I even asked him to take back his statement," the chief minister said.
In July, another RJD leader and MLA Ritlal Yadav claimed that Ramcharitmanas was "written in a mosque."