- BJP worker in Jharkhand washes, wipes lawmaker Nishikant Dubey's feet
- Trolls don't understand supporters' love and dedication, says Mr Dubey
- Incident shows that BJP believes in caste supremacy, says BSP
Nishikant Dubey, BJP lawmaker from Jharkhand, faced flak on social media on Monday, after a video of a party worker in Jharkhand, washing his feet and drinking that dirty water went viral. Mr Dubey defended himself saying those trolling him are unable understand the love supporters have for him.
The incident took place on Sunday, when the BJP leader was at a campaign rally in Godda. After Mr Dubey finished his speech, the BJP worker, Pawan Sah, brought a brass thali and a lota (plate with raised rims and a round water container) and sat near his feet. The BJP worker washed Mr Dubey's feet, wiped them with a cloth and drank the water on the plate as supporters cheered "Pawan bhai zindabad".
It a common custom to honour guests in Jharkhand, said Mr Dubey, and cited Lord Krishna doing the same for Sudama in Mahabharata. "Some day I will get the opportunity of washing Pawan's feet," said Mr Dubey in a post on social media, adding that it for supporters like him, he's in public life today.
The BJP worker who drank the water after washing Mr Dubey's feet threatened to file cases against those "slandering" him. "This should not be politicized, what crime did I commit if I washed his feet and drank the water? It was my sentiment. He is like my elder brother," Pawan Sah, told news agency ANI.
The Congress and Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) slammed Mr Dubey saying the "arrogance of BJP leaders have reached the zenith."
"Instead of apologizing, the BJP leader who is a favourite of PM Modi, is justifying washing his feet and drinking that water by the karyakartas. For him to compare himself to Lord Krishna reflects that BJP now believes that they have achieved a God-like status. Is this the sanskaar and the sanskriti of BJP that Modi ji and Amit Shah talk about?"
"Nishikant Dubey's incident shows that BJP as a party believes in caste supremacy of certain people. It is one of the shameful things this party practices even today," said BSP leader Sudhindra Bhadoria.
Earlier the BJP lawmaker courted controversy after saying he will pay for the legal expenses of four men in Jharkhand accused of killing two people on suspicion of cattle theft. Mr Dubey, who represents Godda constituency in Lok Sabha, called it a "personal decision" since he believes the four men were being unfairly targeted for the mob lynching. "The entire village was involved in the beating. Why are these four people being singled out just because their cattle was stolen?" Mr Dubey told NDTV.