Patna, Apr 6: In fresh instance of caste politics being practiced in Bihar, some workers of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) 'purified' freedom fighter Ram Manohar Lohia's statue after it was garlanded by former Bihar chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi in Supaul district.
Controversy broke when members of Lohia Vichar Manch and student wing of RJD cleaned the statue of the socialist leader Ram Manohar Lohia after Manjhi had garlanded it on Sunday evening. Police have booked 4 people in connections with the case.
Manjhi was on his way to Saharsa in connection with a political programme when he stopped at Lohia chowk to garland the statue of the freedom fighter.
Ruling Janata Dal United (JD-U) government has meanwhile hit out at RJD for such an act. Condemning the incident JDU chief Sharad Yadav said, "We condemn this move. Ram Manohar Lohia was a mass leader. Everyone has the right to garland Lohia's statue."
The opposition BJP too condemned the incident of caste politics and slammed the RJD workers.
"I think the development in Bihar clearly shows its anti-Dalit approach," BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao told media persons.
Manjhi, who is a prominent Maha-Dalit leader from Bihar, also said that such acts should be condemned.
The Bharatiya Janata Party was quick to hit out at RJD workers. "I think the development in Bihar clearly shows its anti-Dalit approach," said BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao.
Manjhi, after being expelled from the JD-U Feb 9, was declared as an unattached member in the assembly. He was expelled for allegedly "indulging in anti-party activities". On Feb 20, Manjhi dramatically resigned from the CM post just ahead of a floor test.
Earlier last year, Manjhi kicked off a massive controversy after he alleged discrimination against him saying a temple in Madhubani was washed and purified after he visited it during assembly bypolls.
Manjhi sparks yet another controversy At a function to mark the birth centenary celebrations of former Chief Minister Bhola Paswan Shastri Manjhi said, "A deep-rooted bias prevails against Mahadalits and those from the down-trodden sections of society....I have myself been a victim of caste bias."
(With inputs from PTI)