Defending Swami Prasad Maurya in the Ramcharitmanas row, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav said he will ask Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath about the meaning of “tadan” – or punishment -- in the verse referred to by his party colleague.
Maurya, a prominent OBC leader in Uttar Pradesh, had recently triggered a controversy by claiming that certain verses of the Hindu epic "insult" a large section of society based on caste and demanded that these be "banned".
Among them was one that says women and "shudra" deserve “tadan”, roughly translated as “punishment”.
BJP leaders have condemned Maurya’s remarks. An FIR has also been lodged against him for making controversial remarks.
"Our chief minister is from an institution and is a yogi. I will ask him about the lines of Ramcharitmanas on which discussions are being held today. What is the meaning of 'tadan' in the verse and for whom it is used," Yadav told reporters on Sunday night.
"We follow both Ram and Krishna. This is not a matter of Swami Prasad Maurya’s remark but of the lines," he said.
On registration of FIR against Maurya, Yadav mockingly said, "BJP government can register FIR against anyone. Its work is to take credit for others' work and change names. It cannot take credit for any work of its own."
The government wants to keep the controversy over Ramcharitmanas alive to divert the attention of people from inflation and unemployment, he said.
About the investors' summit scheduled next month in the state, Yadav, referring to Adani Group chief Gautam Adani, said the "market value" of an industrialist has fallen.
The summit is expected in the middle of February.
"How SBI and LIC purchased shares of a private company and suffered a loss of over Rs 1 lakh crore, will BJP take action against their officials. Earlier, officials of the state government went to jail for purchasing shares of DHFL. Will this happen again," he said.
"That matter was of only Rs 1,200 crore, but this is a matter of over Rs 1 lakh crore," he said.
On giving a promotion to Maurya in the party organisation, Yadav said this is the process of organisation and its objective is to reach people from all sections of society.
Maurya, the BJP-turned-SP leader, has been made the general secretary of the party.