Nityanand Rai, Bharatiya Janata Party’s Bihar unit chief on Tuesday stoked a controversy after saying that any finger raised at Prime Minister Narendra Modi would be chopped off. Rai made the controversial remarks while addressing a rally of party workers in Patna. For those who have not heard much about the politician- Rai had taken over as Bihar BJP chief in December 2016 and is a prominent Yadav leader from Vaishali. Reports said that Rai’s elevation had come as an attempt to strengthen BJP’s base among Yadav voters of the state. Rai also serves as a Lok Sabha MP from Ujiyarpur.
Rai, 51, had taken over from Mangal Pandey. He is the first member from the OBC community after four successive appointments from upper castes to the post of BJP chief in Bihar. These included CP Thakur, Radha Mohan Singh and Gopal Narayan Singh.
Rai had started his political career with ABVP. He later held different positions in Bharatiya Janta Yuva Morcha and several other RSS-associated outfits
Considered as an organisation man, Rai has represented Hajipur Assembly constituency four times since 2000. The politician enjoys considerable clout in the area and is seen as a counter to Lalu Prasad family’s dominance in the adjoining Assembly segment of Raghopur.
Last year, several reports had said that Rai’s elevation had created discontent among the upper caste party leaders.
While hailing Modi’s journey to become the prime minister, Rai said, “Jinki ma khana parasti thi, Narendra Modiji ko khana khilane baithti thi, us thaali me ma ko na beta aur bete ko na ma dikhai deti thi. Aaj us paristhiti se uthkar wo desh ke PM bane hain — garib ka beta, uska swabhiman hona chahiye, ek ek vyakti ko iski izzat honi chahiye… (When Narendra Modi’s mother would serve food to him, neither she would see her son in that plate nor the son would see the mother. From such circumstances, he has grown to be PM — the son of a poor man, each individual should honour this.).”
“Unki or uthne waali ungali ko, uthne waale haath ko…hum sub milke…ya to tod dein, zaroorat pari to kaat dein. (Any finger or hand raised against the PM, we should get together to either broken or, if need be, chop it off.” he added.
Following the controversy, Rai, however, apologised for his remarks. Rai rushed to justify that his statement and said it was not meant for individuals or Opposition parties. Rai said that he expressed it as a proverb.