(MENAFN- The Arabian Post)
Samajwadi Party leader Swami Prasad Maurya on Tuesday said he had spoken on a particular verse in Ramcharitmanas and not about Lord Ram or any religion, but refused to retract the comments which have triggered a row and embarrassed his party.
In an interview with PTI, Maurya, considered a prominent OBC leader in Uttar Pradesh, largely stuck to his stand while saying that he had commented on the holy book in his personal capacity and not as a member of the SP.
“These were my personal comments....At the time of giving the statement, I had said this is my personal statement,” he said, replying to a question.
Maurya kicked up a controversy recently by alleging that certain verses of the Ramcharitmanas“insult” a large section of society on the basis of caste and demanded that these be“banned”.
Asked if he still stood by his statement, the SP leader replied,“Have I said anything wrong that I will go back?”“I give respect to all religions, but no religion or anyone can have the permission to hurl abuses.... I have spoken about banning only a particular portion in which insulting comments have been made on women, tribals, Dalits and backward classes. I have spoken about removing only those parts of the 'chaupai',” he added.
Asked about leaders of his own Samajwadi Party who have criticised his statement, Maurya said,“Those who have opposed me belong to a certain section of the society,” and drew attention to their surnames.
He further said he only spoke about“objectionable comments”, and if that is linked to Lord Ram, religion, or Ramcharitmanas, then it showed the“narrow mindset” of the critics.
With inputs from News18
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