Muslims, Yadavs didn’t vote for me, won’t help them: JD-U’s Sitamarhi MP Devesh Chandra Thakur - Hindustan Times
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Muslims, Yadavs didn’t vote for me, won’t help them: JD-U’s Sitamarhi MP Devesh Chandra Thakur

Jun 17, 2024 02:57 PM IST

Devesh Chandra Thakur’s comment was criticised by RJD, which reminded him that he was going to take oath to bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution

PATNA: Janata Dal-United MP Devesh Chandra Thakur has ignited a huge controversy with his remarks that he will not entertain requests for help from people from the Muslim and Yadav communities because they didn’t vote for him in the Sitamarhi Lok Sabha election.

Devesh Chandra Thakur Thakur won the Sitamarhi seat with a 51,000 margin over the Rashtriya Janata Dal’s (RJD) Arjun Rai (X/deveshMLCbihar)
Devesh Chandra Thakur Thakur won the Sitamarhi seat with a 51,000 margin over the Rashtriya Janata Dal’s (RJD) Arjun Rai (X/deveshMLCbihar)

Thakur, who won the Sitamarhi seat with a 51,000 margin over the Rashtriya Janata Dal’s (RJD) Arjun Rai, said he had always helped people from the two communities. But when it came to voting in elections, Thakur said the two communities did not vote for him because of the party’s alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Thakur told HT that he stood by his statement. “If Muslims and Yadavs did not vote for the Arrow (JD-U’s poll symbol) just because they saw the face of Narendra Modi when they saw our poll symbol… When someone comes to me from these communities, I can also see the face of Lalu Prasad and the Lantern (RJD symbol) on their face… It takes two to clap,” he told HT.

Thakur added that his statement was limited to requests for personal help, such as putting in a word for treatment at AIIMS or calling up the police. “For any work concerning the society at large, they are welcome, but not for any personal work,” he added.

Thakur said it was a point he had been making in his speeches during his tour of the constituency to thank people for electing him. Notwithstanding the victory, Thakur has been disappointed about a drop in his vote share and absolute votes.

Thakur received 515,719 votes (47.14% vote share) and defeated RJD’s Arjun Rai with a margin of 51,000.

In contrast, Sunil Kumar Pintu of the JD-U, who last won the Sitamarhi seat, secured 567,745 votes (54.65% vote share) in 2019, defeating Arjun Rai with a margin of 250,000 votes.

Thakur, who was previously chairman of the Bihar Legislative Council, described himself as a politician who acted rising above caste and creed but was disappointed. “Some people will do the same but not say so, I have openly said it, as I discovered during an analysis of the decline in the victory margin,” he added.

“I have been in active politics for over three decades and I think I have always helped Yadavs and Muslims and therefore, it hurts. It is a lesson for me and it should be a learning for others also,” he added.

The RJD hit back, saying the remarks did not befit Thakur given his stature. “He should not have said such a thing. Once the election is over, he is the MP of all constituency… He should not isolate himself from any caste or creed,” said RJD spokesman Rishi Mishra.

RJD leader Mrityunjay Tiwari said Thakur’s statement would contradict the oath to bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution that he would have to take as a Lok Sabha member. “His remarks were inappropriate and he should retract,” he added.

Congress leader Sudhir Kaundilya said it was worrying.

JD-U and BJP leaders defended Thakur’s remarks, saying the remark reflected his pain which he shared with his people and should not be read to derive political mileage.

“He has shared his concerns with his people due to the low margin and his expectations based on the work he and his party did. But that is past now. He has won and will now work to develop his constituency,” said BJP spokesman Kuntal Krishna.

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