Infighting in Bihar BJP continues as Nitish Kumar's party 'warned' by senior leadertext_fields
Patna: A squabble over a playwright's comparison of King Ashoka to Aurangzeb has resulted in Nitish Kumar's JDU party being 'warned' by senior BJP leader Sanjay Jaiswal who said that if the JDU stepped a foot wrong "76 lakh" BJP workers would "give a reply".
Jaiswal had filed an FIR against Padma Shri winning playwright Daya Prakash Sinha who had drawn a parallel between King Ashoka and Muslim ruler Aurangzeb in his works. An aggrieved Jaiswal demanded to know why the JDU, instead of arresting the playwright, was only demanding that the award be withdrawn instead.
JDU national president Rajiv Ranjan and parliamentary board chairman chairman Upendra Kushwaha had recently written to PM Narendra Modi urging that the Padma Shri awarded to Sinha be withdrawn over his comments on King Ashoka.
"Why do these leaders keep tagging me and the central leadership and question us? We all have to stay within our limits in the alliance. It cannot be one-sided anymore. The first condition of this limit is that you cannot play Twitter Twitter with the country's PM. If you do that and raise questions, then 76 lakh BJP workers in Bihar can give a fitting answer. I am sure you will be careful in future," Jaiswal said in his Facebook post, adding that it was 'nonsensical' to expect the PM to take back an award.
He cited the example of wrestler Sushil Kumar who has not been stripped of a Padma Award despite being charged with murder and pointed out that no recipient of the civilian honour has been stripped of the same in "74 years" since Independence.
Khushwaha on the other hand replied to the post with a terse acknowledgment that the JDU would not back down from demanding the award be withdrawn from the playwright.
Jaisal expressed his hope that allies could sit and discuss the matter instead of resorting to bloodshed and killing which he claimed was widespread before 2005.
The controversy was kicked off by a controversial interview of Sinha, featured in the Navbharat Times, in which 86 year-old Sinha compared Ashoka to Aurangzeb for the killings of his brothers and the many Buddhist monks he slaughtered. The playwright won the 2021 Sahitya Akademi award for his dramatic retelling of Ashoka's life in the play 'Samrat Ashoka'.