Rabri Devi's Provocative Retort To BJP Leader's 'Chop Off Hands' Remark

A senior BJP leader in Bihar had barely issued a disclaimer on his controversial comment on "chopping off fingers and hands raised against" Prime Minister Narendra Modi, that former chief minister Rabri Devi of the RJD has topped it with an even more provocative retort.

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Rabri Devi's Provocative Retort To BJP Leader's 'Chop Off Hands' Remark

Rabri Devi was responding to comments made by BJP's Bihar Chief Nityanand Rai

Patna:  A senior BJP leader in Bihar had barely issued a disclaimer on his controversial comment on "chopping off fingers and hands raised against" Prime Minister Narendra Modi, that former chief minister Rabri Devi of the RJD has topped it with an even more provocative retort.

"BJP leaders say that they will cut off hands. I dare them to do it. There enough people to do the same to Narendra Modi," said Rabri Devi at a party function in state capital Patna, organised to mark her husband Lalu Yadav's election as the RJD chief for the 10th time.

On Monday, the BJP's Bihar chief Nityananad Rai was addressing a function, also in Patna, when he said that every citizen of the country should be proud that a "garib ka beta" (the son of a poor family) rose from humble beginnings to become Prime Minister.

He also warned those who attack the Prime Minister, wagging his finger, "Unki ore uthne waali ungli ko, uthne waale haath ko...hum sub milke...ya to tod dein, zaroorat pari to kaat dein (Any finger or hand raised towards him, (PM Modi) we should together, either break it or if needed, chop it off)." Bihar's Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi was present at the event.

Amid widespread condemnation of his statement, Mr Rai, who is a member of Parliament from Bihar, clarified that he had used a figure of speech. "Only those who are anti-national and anti-poor will object to the statement. I said PM Modi is the messiah of the poor. Those who raise fingers at the poor and swabhimaani (self-respecting), they are raising it at the Prime Minister. He destroyed corruption, poverty, black money...What I said is a proverb...I mean that there is no space for such forces in the country," he said today, shrugging off demands for an apology.

"If people don't understand, they should try to...If they can't, what can I do? People threaten to bury people...what I said was not as bad as that," Mr Rai said.

The Yadavs are among PM Modi and the BJP's staunchest critics. They allege that corruption cases being investigated against them by central agencies like the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate are "political vendetta" by the BJP, which this year replaced Mr Yadav's party and the Congress as Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's partner in governing Bihar.

Rabri Devi, who has skipped multiple summons for questioning by the Enforcement Directorate, said at today's function that she would continue doing so, adding, "if they want to, they can come to Patna and interrogate me at my home."

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The politicians' comments in Bihar come close to a huge controversy over a BJP leader in Haryana, Surajpal Amu, announcing a bounty of Rs 10 crore for the heads of actor Deepika Padukone and director Sanjay Leela Bhansali in the middle of Rajput protests against their film Padmavati.

The BJP has demanded an explanation from Mr Amu, who says he gave the statement as a "Rajput" and not as someone who holds a post in the ruling party.

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