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BJP downplays Dalai Lama’s remark on Bihar result

“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 Dalai Lama, Tibetan spiritual leader, had said in Jalandhar on Saturday.  

The reported remarks of the Dalai Lama, Tibetan spiritual leader, that the Bihar poll results proved that a majority of Hindus preferred harmony received the support of the Janata Dal (United) while the Bharatiya Janata Party (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 Dalai Lama had said in Jalandhar on Saturday without naming any political party or leader.

“Attack on extremist elements”

Terming the remarks of the Dalai Lama an attack on “extremist elements,” JD(U) leader K.C. Tyagi said the Tibetan spiritual leader had been in India for long and was 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 had proved that “intolerance has been defeated.”

“We have ensured harmony”

Meanwhile, the BJP tried to downplay the remarks saying Bihar had 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 the BJP, Mr. Hussain said his statement “should not be misinterpreted.”

Bhagalpur riots recalled

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.”

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Printable version | May 10, 2021 5:20:04 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/bjp-downplays-dalai-lamas-remark-on-bihar-result/article7880699.ece

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