Bihar minister asking crowd to beat PM photo with shoes

Patna: A Bihar minister has kicked up a controversy by asking a crowd gathered at a program to protest the Centre’s demonetization move to beat the photograph of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with shoes.

With the video being telecast on a local TV channel on March 1, a fuming BJP said it would raise the issue in the state Assembly as well as the Legislative Council on Thursday, demanding Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to sack the minister.

The video is of a gathering of February 22 at Amour Assembly constituency of Abdul Jalil Mastan in Purnea district, which was called to register protest against the demonetization move.

In the video, Mastan, who is the state Excise and Prohibition minister, was heard telling the crowd that it was the PM who had said that if he failed to end people’s woes within 50 days of demonetization, he was prepared to face any punishment.

The video showed the MLA telling the people to beat the PM’s photograph with shoes. A few supporters then beat the photograph of the PM kept on a chair on the stage with shoes while the minister was present on the dais.

An enraged senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi said the party would raise the issue in both Houses of Bihar Assembly demanding the removal of Mastan.

“One can have ideological differences. But, the Constitution does not allow a person, who is a minister in a state, to incite a crowd and to humiliate a Prime Minister in this manner,” Sushil Modi told PTI.

State Congress president and minister Ashok Choudhary said though he has not seen the video, but “people in public life should keep control over their language.”

Repeated attempts to contact Mastan for his comments proved futile as his phone remained switched off.

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