PATNA: Union minister and LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan’s comments about RJD leader and former Bihar chief minister Rabri Devi’s low educational qualification sparked more controversy as her son Tej Pratap Yadav posted a cartoon on twitter targeting Paswan on Tuesday.
The cartoon posted by Yadav, a former health and environment minister in Bihar, depicted Paswan as the mythical demon Mahisasura bearing horns. Rabri Devi, currently RJD’s national vice-president and an MLC, is shown as Goddess Durga wielding a trident on Mahisasura while sitting atop a lion having Yadav’s head wearing RJD’s green cap.
“Women give birth, shower motherly affection and also forgive. When history holds evidence to the fact that powerful men like Ravana and Duryodhana were not spared for insulting women, what is the status of these opportunist politicians?” wrote Yadav, 31, along with the cartoon.
While attacking RJD, Bihar’s main Opposition party, for opposing the 10 per cent quota for the poor among the upper castes, Paswan had said on Friday: “These people (RJD) only raise slogans and become leaders. Even anguthachhap (illiterate) people become chief ministers”.
Although Paswan had not named anyone, his use of the word “anguthachhap” was widely seen as a veiled reference to Rabri Devi, the wife of jailed RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav. She served as Bihar CM for eight years (1997-2005) despite having little formal education. When Lalu, then the serving CM, was jailed in a fodder scam case in July 1997, he had dramatically anointed her to the post.
Paswan’s estranged daughter Asha Devi had protested against the “anguthachhap” jibe, dubbing it as an insult to women in general and demanding her father apologise. Asha Devi, Paswan’s daughter from his first wife Raj Kumari Devi, had sat on a dharna in front of his residence in Patna on Sunday along with scores of women workers of RJD demanding an apology from the Union minister.
Paswan declined to comment on his daughter’s demand during an interaction with journalists on Tuesday. LJP leaders were too shocked to comment on the cartoon posted by Tej Partap. “Such cartoons are clearly in bad taste and show the puerile nature of people who claim to be noteworthy politicians,” said LJP spokesperson Ashraf Ansari.
Speaking on the SP-BSP alliance in UP, Paswan said the two parties have little chance of performing well in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. “The Opposition is very weak and unstable. Narendra Modi will become prime minister once again,” he said.