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It slipped out says Jiten Manjhi after Masood Azhar saheb remark

By Anuj Cariappa

Patna, May 04: Former Bihar chief minister and Hindustani Awam Morcha president Jitan Ram Manjhi courted controversy by addressing Jaish-e-Mohammad head Masood Azhar as Saheb, drawing sharp criticism from BJP.

Later, Manjhi retracted and termed the remark as "slip of tongue."

Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) chief Jitan Ram Manjhi

Manjhi, an important leader of mahagathbandhan in Bihar which comprises Congress and the RJD, made the comment Thursday while replying to mediapersons query on United Nations declaring the Pakistan based terror mastermind Masood Azhar as global terrorist.

PM does branding of everything which is wrong the efforts were on to get Masood Azhar Saheb designated as global terrorist since Manmohan Singh's time but it was just a coincidence that the decision has been taken now. I think that this is not correct for BJP or Narendra Modi to take credit of the issue", Manjhi said.

Video of the Manjhi's comment that has gone viral showed him saying that "Had Vajpayee government not taken Masood Azhar Saheb to Kandhar in plane his game was over then only."

The HAM chief is the second grand alliance leader to address Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief as Masood 'saheb'.

Earlier, in the first week of April, RJD Baisi (Purnia) MLA Abdus Subhan, while addressing an election rally at Kishanganj had addressed Masood Azhar as Saheb.

Not returning to NDA says ManjhiNot returning to NDA says Manjhi

Manjhi, a BJP ally in 2014 general election as well 2015 Bihar polls, had switched sides to mahagathbandhan on the eve of the ongoing Parliamentary election.

While, BJP pounced on Manjhi's use of honour for the Pakistani terrorist, leaders of his party as well some from alliance partner RJD came in his defence.

By addressing Masood Azhar as Saheb, Jitan Ram Manjhi has proved that Congress and its allies have soft corners and special honour for terrorists. Is it in their political agenda to glorify those who bleed our innocent people of the country. Please reply Manjhi Saheb," Bihar BJP leader and states health minister Mangal Pandey said in a tweet in hindi.

HAM spokesman Danish Rizwan,however, made a defence of Manjhi in a release issued on behalf of the party.

Jitan Ram Manjhi ji always addresses people with respect but he has clarified his position before the media with regard to his comment on Masood Azhar. Jitan Ram Manjhi ji has clearly said that it was a 'slip of tongue'. He also said that probity and dignity in politics also does not warrant anyone to abuse anyone which the BJP has been doing, Rizwan said in the release.

Rizwan said that NDA leaders were trying to flare up the issue witnessing their imminent defeat in the four phases of polls held in the state so far.

RJD leader and MLA Vijay Prakash said that the issue has nothing to do with Bihar.

This is an international issue. It has nothing to do with Bihar, rather it has to be dealt on international level. The issues which are related to Bihar are corruption, jumlebazi, unemployment, price rise etc. Why BJP does not offer any reply on these issues, Prakash said.

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