Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Yadavs, Muslims must not expect me to be of any help, says JD(U) MP

In a video clip that has gone viral on social media, Sitamarhi MP Devesh Chandra Thakur can also be heard ruing that 'NDA's own voters' gravitated towards the opposition RJD.
Last Updated : 17 June 2024, 15:50 IST

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Patna: A newly elected MP of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's JD(U) on Monday found himself at the centre of a controversy for laments about "Muslims and Yadavs" not voting for the BJP-led NDA.

In a video clip that has gone viral on social media, Sitamarhi MP Devesh Chandra Thakur can also be heard ruing that "NDA's own voters" gravitated towards the opposition RJD.

Thakur, 71, a former chairman of the state legislative council, made his parliamentary debut in the recently held Lok Sabha polls, winning the seat by a modest margin of less than 55,000 votes.

"I did not get votes of Suris (a fishing community) and Kalwars. Even the Kushwahas deserted me. Just because respected Lalu Prasad (RJD supremo) gave tickets to many Kushwahas. Could a Kushwaha elected from elsewhere be of any help to members of the community in my constituency?" Thakur could be heard asking in the video, which was not independently verified by PTI.

Later, he said, "I have made it clear that Yadavs and Muslims must not expect me to be of any help to them. They will be treated with due respect, even offered tea and snacks, when they call on me. But I will not take up any of their problems." The JD(U) MP added that he had expressed the sentiment before a "Muslim" who visited him after the elections.

"I asked the Muslim brother how can you expect me to work for you when you did not vote for me just because my party is aligned with the BJP," said Thakur, claiming that the visitor agreed with the contention and went back feeling regret for his electoral choice.

Often called "Ajaatshatru" in political circles because of his friendly disposition, Thakur retained the seat for his party which chose to drop sitting MP Sunil Kumar Pintu.

Thakur defeated his nearest RJD rival Arjun Roy, who is a former MP from the Lok Sabha seat.

The JD(U) leader's outbursts met with disapproval from the RJD as well as ally BJP, leaving the party to fend for itself.

"The remarks made by Thakur are objectionable. An MP is the representative of all sections of society in his constituency," said Bhai Virendra, the RJD's chief spokesperson and an MLA.

BJP OBC Morcha national general secretary Nikhil Anand also came out with a strongly worded statement, but without mentioning Thakur by name.

"Giving vent to frustration in a manner that smacks of caste prejudice is shameful and deplorable in politics. The BJP takes all social segments along. In Bihar, no political party can succeed if it tries to marginalise Yadavs, who are 14 per cent of the total population," said Anand.

The BJP leader underscored "27 OBCs, four of them Yadavs" in the Union Council of Ministers and claimed that it was proof of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's commitment to "social harmony".

JD(U) chief spokesman and MLC Neeraj Kumar responded to the criticisms, saying, "It is unthinkable that Thakur will discriminate against any section of society. He was just expressing his pain at not getting votes of even those whom he may have helped him personally but who got swayed by other considerations."

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Published 17 June 2024, 15:50 IST

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