A recent mutton-rice party hosted by the ruling Janata Dal (U) national president has stirred a controversy warranting probe and clarification. A word war between the JDU and the Opposition BJP dominated political discourse in the state for the last couple of days.
On May 14, national president of the JDU Lallan Singh had hosted the party for his party workers in his Munger parliamentary constituency. It was mainly aimed to woo voters and workers ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. The party was organised at the Polo ground in Munger where thousands of party workers had gathered for a mutton feast.
The controversy over the party intensified in political circles when the BJP state president Samrat Choudhary accused the JDU president of serving liquor in his constituency. It may be recalled here that there has been a ban on the sale, purchase of all types of liquor in the state since April 2016.
Chaudhary’s statement provoked ruling party leaders. Sharply reacting to his statement, JDU state president Umesh Kushwaha threatened legal action against BJP president Chaudhary.
“I have given an ultimatum to Samrat Chaudhary to prove that liquor was served in the party in a couple of days. If he fails to prove it, he should tender a public apology for making such a grave allegation,” Kushwaha told the media.
Moving a step further, the leader of the Opposition in the state assembly Vijay K Sinha raised serious concern over the missing of dogs on the streets of Munger. Sinha represents BJP from neighbouring Lakhisarai assembly constituency.
Soon after the party, Sinha made a request to Health Department officials and district authorities to investigate whether a dog meal was served at the party or not.
The organisers of the party admitted that thousands of local people including party workers attended the party. The party workers also indulged in a heated exchange with each other. A chaotic situation was visible following the sudden surge of crowd gathered at the party venue. Local police had to use mild lathicharge to control the irate crowd.
Sinha, while talking to a local channel, said, “It’s a matter of investigation to find out the nature of mutton consumed by the people in the party.”
Another BJP spokesman Arvind Kumar while talking to media said: “It would be highly embarrassing for the JDU leaders when we will start counting the number of glasses displayed at the party. I don’t want to say anything further on this issue which is known to everyone,” he said.
JDU’s chief spokesman Neeraj Kumar lashed out at the BJP leaders for spreading “fake Sanatani”. Quoting a report of the National Family Health Survey, he said the consumption of non vegetarian food has increased substantially in the BJP-ruled states during the last five years. In Tripura alone, he said non veg food consumption has increased by more than 94 per cent.
While addressing a press conference, he showed some video clips and newspaper reports in which some of the prominent BJP leaders, including from Meghalaya, were shown advocating non veg food items.