In the middle of a controversy over Yogi Adityanath's comments on Lord Hanuman, a new headline-grabber has come from another BJP leader, Nand Kumar Sai.
Nand Kumar Sai, Chairman of the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes, has claimed that Lord Hanuman was a tribal.
During an event in Lucknow on Thursday, Mr Sai said, "People think there were monkeys, bears, and vultures in the army of Lord Rama. In Kurukh language spoken by people belonging to the Oraon tribe, 'tigga' (a gotra) means 'vanar' (monkey). In the Kanwar tribe, which I belong to, there's a gotra (clan) called 'Hanuman'... Similarly, 'Giddh' or vulture is a gotra in many other Scheduled Tribes. Therefore, I believe they belonged to the tribal community and were with Lord Rama in the big war," he said.
#WATCH: Nand Kumar Sai,National Commission of Scheduled Tribes chairperson,says,"Log ye samajhte hain ki Ram ke sena mein Bhaloo the, banar the, giddh the...Hamara janjaati samaaj alag alag hai,kanwar samaaj mein 'hanuman' gotra' alag se hai.Ram ke saath ladai me ye log gaye the' pic.twitter.com/nrIlug9dzg— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) November 30, 2018
Yogi Adityanath, the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, had said at a rally in Alwar on Tuesday, "Bajrang Bali (Hanuman) is such a god that he is a forest-dweller, lives in the mountains. Dalits, deprived, he takes everyone along, from east to west, north to south, and unites them all."
A group that calls itself the "Rajasthan Sarv Brahmin Mahasabha" has sent the saffron-wearing chief minister a legal notice accusing him of playing on Hanuman's caste for votes in Rajasthan, which will vote on December 7. Yogi Adityanath's supporters say the notice is based on a distorted version of Yogi Adityanath's speech, in which he seemed to say, without pause, "Bajrang Bali (Hanuman) is such a god that he is a forest-dweller, lives in the mountains, is a dalit, deprived..."
Mr Sai had earlier said that politicians were given to make statements during rallies, and the chief minister should specify the context in which he called Lord Hanuman a Dalit.
(With Inputs From PTI)