‘Emotional outburst’: JD-U MP Devesh Chandra Thakur takes back his ‘Muslim-Yadav’ statement - Hindustan Times

‘Emotional outburst’: JD-U MP Devesh Chandra Thakur takes back his ‘Muslim-Yadav’ statement

Jun 20, 2024 10:48 AM IST

Thakur had said that he will not work for Muslims and Yadavs from his constituency as they had not voted for him

Facing flak from his own party workers and apprehending loss of his voter base in the forthcoming assembly elections next year, newly-elected Janata Dal (United) MP from Sitamarhi, Devesh Chandra Thakur, on Wednesday retracted from his earlier statement that he will not entertain requests for help from people from the Muslim and Yadav communities because they didn’t vote for him.

JD (U) MP from Sitamarhi Devesh Chandra Thakur. (Facebook Photo)
JD (U) MP from Sitamarhi Devesh Chandra Thakur. (Facebook Photo)

Speaking to media persons in his constituency, Thakur said, “It was an emotional outburst that was reported differently. I don’t need a certificate of secularism from any party. The people of Sitamarhi know how I always rose above caste and community to work for all. I have never stopped anybody from coming to my home.”

A former legislative council chairman, Thakur maintained he was definitely hurt by people’s apathy towards not voting from him. “This is natural. Even people complain about public representatives. I stood by all, irrespective of caste and creed,” he said.

Thakur, who won by over 51,000 votes against his nearest rival Arjun Rai of the Rashtriya Janata Dal, had said that he will not work for Muslims and Yadavs from his constituency as they had not voted for him despite all the work he had done for them over three years.

JD-U sources said that his own party did not back him, apprehending loss of Muslim votes, a sizeable number that still backs chief minister and party president Nitish Kumar despite his alignment with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as part of the NDA. Muslims form 17.7% of Bihar population, and Yadavs constitute 14.2% of the voter base, as per the 2022 caste survey report.

One of JD-U’s Muslim face, former Rajya Sabha MP Asfaque Karim, held a press conference in Patna to send the message among minorities that “what Thakur said was his individual stance and not the stand of the party”.

“This is not the party’s stand. He is an MP for all and not of any individuals. This type of statement should have been avoided. It seems he did not say that deliberately. It must have been [said] by mistake. He should take it back as it has hurt Muslims and others,” Karim said in Patna on Wednesday.

Senior JD-U leader and state minister Vijay Choudhary stated that the government led by Nitish Kumar believes in taking people of all communities together. “We have a proven track record of working for all communities and that has resulted in us getting support from everyone,” he said. Another party MP from Banka, Giridhari Yadav, posted on X, “...It is shameful to make such a statement. I appeal to Thakurji to take back this controversial statement.”

Meanwhile, Thakur found support from Union minister and Begusarai MP Giriraj Singh. “Muslims don’t vote for him either. He also said that the collective decision by Muslims to not vote for a particular party is aimed at “weakening Sanatan”.

“Thakur has spoken his emotions (dil ki bhavna). He is pained because at his home – he was an MLC for many years – there was chand, cross and Om (referring to religious symbols). He would work for everyone. He is heartbroken,” Singh said.

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