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Bihar BJP chief ‘regrets’ remark to chop off hands of people criticising PM Modi

Bihar’s BJP MP Nityanand Rai, who came under severe criticism from the opposition as well as on social media, said his words had been “twisted out of context” and was a “mischievious misinterpretation” of a metaphorical saying.

india Updated: Nov 21, 2017 14:13 IST
Binod Dubey
Binod Dubey
Hindustan Times, Patna
Bihar BJP,Nityanand Rai,Narendra Modi
Bihar BJP chief Nityanand Rai speaks to the media on Tuesday.(ANI Twitter)

Allegations about a threat to break fingers and chop off hands was the result of “mischievous misinterpretation” of a metaphorical saying, Bihar BJP president and Lok Sabha member Nityanand Rai on Tuesday, even as he expressed regret for the comment.

Rai came under severe criticism from opposition parties and on social media a day after he was quoted as asking party workers to attack anyone who pointed fingers at Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“I used the expression of breaking fingers and chopping hands as a proverb to convey that we would strongly deal with those who rise against the country’s pride. If it has hurt anybody I express regret,” he said on Tuesday.

“What I had uttered and what appeared in some newspapers are not the same...it was a mischievous misinterpretation of what was said at a function in Patna on Monday. It has been twisted out of context,” Rai added.

An HT reporter was present in the function on Monday when Rai said that people opposing the nation and all anti-nationals “should be dealt with sternly and their limbs should be broken”.

Deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi and ministers Nand Kishore Yadav, Mangal Pandey and Suresh Sharma were present at the meeting, organised to honour late Banshi Sah alias Banshi Chacha, a prominent freedom fighter.

Though BJP leaders too defended Rai, they said the comments had harmed the image and opposition parties could derive advantage from it ahead of the Gujarat assembly elections.

Meanwhile, the opposition RJD and Congress attacked Rai for his alleged comments.

Rashtriya Janata Dal spokesperson Shakti Yadav said Rai has exposed the “mindset” of the Bharatiya Janata Party.

“Do these words deserve any place in a democratic set-up like India? The BJP leader is behaving in this way to defend a dictator,” Yadav said.

Bihar Congress president Kaukab Quadri said Rai has expressed the fear of his party. He said there were growing voices of protest against the three-and-a-half-year-old central government led by Modi.

“People have every right to raise their voice, finger or hands against the Prime Minister. We are living in a democratic country,” he said.

Bihar’s ruling Janata Dal-United is, however, silent over the statement of its ally BJP leader. JD-U leaders have refused to comment on it.

Earlier in November, Rai said that Modi was a reincarnation of Swami Vivekananda.

(With agency inputs)

First Published: Nov 21, 2017 14:07 IST