New Delhi: Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama's reported remarks that Bihar poll results prove that a majority of Hindus prefer harmony today received the support of the JD(U) while the BJP played down the statement.
"India has a long tradition of peace and amity. The people of Bihar in the recent Assembly polls have proved that a large section of the Hindu community still believes in peace and amity," the 14th Dalai Lama had said in Jalandhar yesterday without naming any political party or leader.
Terming the remarks of the Dalai Lama as an attack on "extremist elements", JD(U) leader K C Tyagi said the Tibetan spiritual leader has been in India for long and is aware of the Indian culture.
"The statement made by him has given a strong and befitting reply to the extremist groups in India. The results of the Bihar polls show that forces of tolerance are not only active but are in majority," he told PTI.
He pointed out that President Pranab Mukherjee too has flagged the issue of intolerance and the Bihar verdict has proved that "intolerance has been defeated." Meanwhile, the BJP tried to downplay the remarks saying Bihar has for long seen communal harmony.
"We have ensured that communal harmony in the state is maintained at all costs. We have worked to ensure that any attempt to disrupt the harmony is defeated...we fought the Bihar assembly polls on the agenda of development.
"We won four states but lost in two. This is part of democracy...the grand alliance had the arithmetics in its favour. But the chemistry favoured us," party spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain told reporters here.
Asked whether the Dalai Lama's remarks on intolerance should be a matter of concern for BJP, Hussain said his statement "should not be misinterpreted."
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Attacking the grand alliance constituents Congress, JD(U) and RJD over the 1989 Bhagalpur riots, the BJP leader said, "The blame for the riots is on Congress. Lalu Prasad buried the file and Nitish Kumar did not go ahead with the probe. Let us not forget that."
Hussain also distanced BJP from the reported plans of Hindu Mahasabha to observe the birth anniversary of Nathuram Godse today.
He said the BJP believes in the principles and philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi and considers Godse as his assassin.
"Someone celebrates his birthday but BJP is blamed for it. This is an example of cheap politics being played by Congress," he said responding to questions that some Congress
leaders have claimed that the Hindu Mahasabha has the blessing of the BJP in observing Godse's birth anniversary.
He said while Congress uses the Mahatma's name, it has forgotten his philosophy.
The Hindu Mahasabha reportedly has decided to observe the day as 'Balidan Diwas'.
Hussain also slammed Uttar Pradesh minister and senior Samajwadi Party leader Mohd Azam Khan for his reported remarks that Paris terror attacks were "reaction to an action" saying the statement was not in good taste.
"The language being used by leaders like Azam Khan is not acceptable. It is unfortunate. IS has become the enemy of Islam. Acts of IS have shamed the Muslims world over. Time has come for the people to eliminate IS and its philosophy," Hussain said.
The BJP spokesperson also hit out at Congress for an NSUI poster in Allahabad with casteist remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"The poster used abusive language against the Prime Minister on his caste...Congress President Sonia Gandhi should tell why her party lacks tolerance. Such remarks could prove costly for the Congress. One of their leaders (Mani Shankar Aiyar) had said Modi can sell tea at Congress office. It had cost them dearly," he said.
Volunteers of National Student Union of India, Congress' student wing, had yesterday put up a poster in Allahabad with a remark against Modi.
Asking those who seek to compare Modi with Jawaharlal Nehru, the poster read, "kahan Raja Bhoj, kahan Gangu...", making an apparent reference to Modi's caste.