'Lord Ram Was Non-Vegetarian': NCP Leader Jitendra Awhad Apologises Over Controversial Remark

The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Jitendra Awhad's provocative remark on Lord Ram being non-vegetarian sparked a massive controversy with many seeking action against him for hurting religious sentiments.


Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Jitendra Awhad

Right ahead of the grand consecration ceremony of the newly built Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Jitendra Awhad's remark stating 'Lord Ram was a non-vegetarian' sparked a fresh controversy. The leader of the Sharad Pawar camp made the comment at an event in Maharashtra's Shirdi on Wednesday.

However, following the fact that his remarks stirred massive controversy, Awhad apologized and said, "I don't speak without research... I don't want to intensify, but if someone is hurt by what I said then I apologize."

"There have been numerous instances where I have delivered speeches, and I have never distorted anything in my speech. I do not wish to escalate this issue. But in Valmiki Ramayana, there are many kand (books) in which there is Ayodhya kand, in which there is a shlok (verse) 102 which mentions it."


Awhad further said, "Those who cannot talk logically will talk about cases against me, but those who chat 'Ram Ram', I want to tell them that Ram stays in our hearts."

What did the NCP Leader say?

"Lord Ram belongs to us, Bahujans. He used to hunt and eat animals. He is a Bahujan. They are trying to make everyone a vegetarian by giving Lord Ram's example. But Lord Ram was not a vegetarian, he was a non-vegetarian. A person who has stayed in the forest for 14 years - where will he go to find vegetarian food?" Mr Awhad said, referring to the years Lord Ram spent in the forests in the Hindu epic Ramayana.


Protest erupts over Awhad's remark

The NCP leader's provocative remark on Lord Ram sparked a massive controversy with many seeking action against him for hurting religious sentiments.

It has been reported that the supporters of Ajit Pawar faction of the NCP turned up outside Mr Awhad's Mumbai home on Wednesday night and shouted slogans against him while the BJP supporters led by BJP MLA Ram Kadam said they would march to the nearest police station and file a case against Awhad.

Taking to microblogging site X, Kadam said, "All devotees of Lord Ram will file a police case against Jitendra Awhad," Mr Kadam said. "If Balasaheb were alive, today's Saamana newspaper would have spoken harshly to those who called Lord Ram a non-vegetarian." 

"But what is the reality today? Anyone can say anything about Lord Ram; anyone can make fun of Hindus. They don't care. They are as cold as ice. But come elections, they will talk about Hindutva," the BJP MLA said.