Problems for BJP in Bihar are not going anywhere soon. Even before the injury of losing the decade-old friend Nitish Kumar is healed, it has entered a phase of new controversy.
An MLA from Pirpainti Assembly constituency Lalan Paswan took the social media by storms through his comments on Hindu deity Laxmi.
Questioning the worshipping practice of Goddess Laxmi on Diwali, he said, “If we get wealth only by worshipping Goddess Lakshmi, then there would have been no billionaires and trillionaires among Muslims. Muslims do not worship Goddess Lakshmi, are they not rich? Muslims do not worship Goddess Saraswati. Are there no scholars among Muslims? Do they not become IAS or IPS?”
Noting that ‘atma and pramatma’ is all about individual faiths he added, “If you believe then it is a Goddess, and if not then it is just a stone idol. It is up to us whether we believe in Gods and Goddesses or not. We have to think on a scientific basis to reach a logical conclusion. If you stop believing, then your intellectual capacity will increase.”
He continued questioning the Hindu sacred beliefs asking, “Bajrangbali is believed to be the God of power- now Muslims and Christians don’t worship him- aren’t they powerful?”
While Paswan couldn’t be reached, Vijay Kumar Sinha, the leader of the opposition in Bihar Assembly told Outlook that he hasn’t got any information. The former speaker who resigned after Nitish-BJP break up added, “I have not yet examined the issue. I will gather the information and will get back to you.”
Made viral through a private twitter account @Muktanshu the video evoked huge uproars across the state. A protest has been organised at Shermari Bazar in Bhagalpur district where his effigy had also been burnt.
"मुसलमान लक्ष्मी की पूजा नहीं करते, तो क्या वे अमीर नहीं होते"— Muktanshu (@muktanshu) October 19, 2022
"मुसलमान सरस्वती को नहीं पूजते, तो क्या मुसलमान शिक्षित नहीं होते" - BJP MLA Lalan Paswan from Bhagalpur,Bihar pic.twitter.com/RDoSM0jMEY
Lalan Paswan Controversy over Lalu’s phone call
This is not for the first time Paswan was found to be steeped in controversy. In 2020, after the Assembly elections, his alleged call record with the Rashtriya Janta Dal chief Lalu Prasad Yadav went viral. Lalu Yadav at that time was in jail in Ranchi.
However, claiming innocence Paswan then said, “After the victory in the elections several people were calling and in between even Lalu Ji’s call came and my PA passed it to me. I said pranam to Lalu ji. After congratulating me over the victory, he proposed that if I can manage to topple the government, I would be given Ministerial berth. I immediately refused his proposal.”
Paswan also said that the content of the viral call record was untainted. The MLA said, “NDA had given me identity and for me nothing is bigger than party.”
After this incident Jharkhand HC passed directions to the Government strictly barring the jail inmates from using the phone. Lalan Paswan also filed an FIR against Lalu Yadav for trying to bribe him.
Since the departure of Nitish Kumar in Bihar, BJP has not been in a very good shape and the recent statement of Paswan, the political analysts say, will add to its troubles.