Trouble is in store for Railway Minister Lalu Prasad. The Bihar government is planning to initiate action against him for his alleged role of an exorcist at his native village in Phulwaria.
Already, legal opinions are being sought whether action can be initiated under the Prevention of Witchcraft Practices Act, 1999.
"Action may be taken only after examining the Prevention of Witchcraft Practices Act, 1999," Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said in Patna on Monday. Kumar also raised serious doubts over the secular credentials of his bete noire.
He was reacting to the reported statement of the JD (U) national spokesman Shivanand Tiwari who on Sunday demanded the RJD chief's arrest for playing the role of an exorcist (ojha) in contravention of the Act during the recent consecration of a temple at his native Phulwaria village. "The Act was passed during the RJD-Congress regime," said Kumar.
The JD (U) spokesperson had alleged that the Railway Minister acted like an exorcist during the ceremony, which was a cognisable offence under Section 4 of the Act and had urged the state government to arrest him.
The chief minister said the state government would initiate action only after fully considering the legal aspect. Taking a dig at the RJD chief, Kumar said this was a scientific age. "I seriously doubt his secular credentials. Blind faith and secularis just don't gel. He is propagating unscientific things. Only those person who have lost self-confidence take refuge to superstitions," he said.
Continuing in the same vein, Kumar said a secular person was not against any religion. "But at the same time, it is expected of him that he carries a scientific temperament as well," he argued.
In fact, the RJD chief, ever since he vacated 1, Anne Marg, had been telling that he had left a ghost in that house, forcing Kumar to say, "Jo khud bhoot-poorva ho gaye hain wahi bhoot ki baat kar rahen hain (Prasad has become a thing of the past and so loves talking about ghosts)."