A political controversy broke out in Madhya Pradesh on Thursday after a ruling Congress MLA, while addressing school children at a Children Day programme, claimed that several great kings, including
Prithviraj Chauhan, lost their kingdoms and legacy due to their love for alcohol.
The video of the speech by Congress MLA Baijnath Kushwah was widely shared on social media, prompting condemnation from the
Addressing an event to mark country's first PM Jawaharlal Nehru's birth anniversary and Children Day at a school in Morena district, Baijnath Kushwah, who was elected on a Congress ticket from Sabalgarh seat of Morena district, said: "Delhi's King Prithviraj Chauhan, King Parimal of Mahoba and King Jaychand of Kannauj have been great kings. But, due to this (making a hand gesture to denote drinking), now bats are flying in their forts and palaces, and no one is left to take their names."
"I want to tell everyone that never consume alcohol before your children, who are your real property. If you drink before your children today, they too will follow your habits in future and that will ultimately ruin your entire clan's future," he added.
After the controversy, Mr Kushwah expressed regret over his statement.
"Our state's CM is working at ending the menace of drug abuse and other types of addiction in the state, as part of which only, I tried to tell the school children how even biggest of kingdoms were ruined due to alcoholism and drug addiction. I can't even imagine calling a legend like Prithviraj Chauhan an alcoholic, but still if my words have hurt anyone's sentiments, I apologise for it," the Congress legislator maintained.
The state BJP hit out at the Congress leader and said the statement reflects the mindset of Congress leaders towards the country's great
"Kushwaha disgraced great personalities of our history in his speech in front of young students. His apology outside doesn''t matter. He should go to the school and express regret," state BJP spokesperson Rajneesh Agrawal said.
"This speech shows the mindset of Congress leaders towards our great leaders and personalities. The Congress only cares about Nehru-Gandhi family. The ruling party of the state should take action against Kushwaha," Mr Agrawal added.
The Congress, however, maintained the issue ended with the MLA's apology.
"The Congress respects all great leaders and personalities. Kushwaha''s statement was misinterpreted. His intention was not to show disrespect to these personalities. He has already apologised for his statement," MP Congress spokesperson Pankaj Chaturvedi said.