Bettiah/Patna: Stirring yet another controversy, Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi has termed upper caste people as "foreigners and descendants of Aryan race", a remark for which the BJP has slammed him for "stoking caste tension" in the state.
"The upper caste people are foreigners and descendants of the Aryan race....They have come here from foreign countries," Manjhi said at a function in Bettiah last night.
"Only tribals and dalits are indigenous people," the Chief Minister claimed and asked them to educate themselves and imbibe political awareness to ensure that downtrodden sections could play a pivotal role in formation of governments in Bihar.
Meanwhile, Manjhi's comment has drawn sharp reaction from the opposition BJP with its senior leader and former deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi criticising the chief minister for stoking caste tension in Bihar.
The Chief Minister has tried to sow a wedge between different sections by questioning ethnicity of the upper caste people which may stoke caste tension in Bihar, Modi said.
The BJP leader said Manjhi's gaffe was not the first instance when he had tried "to divide the people on social grounds" as he had earlier alleged of being discriminated at a shrine in Madhubani district which, the chief minister had said, was washed and purified soon after he had paid obeisance there.
The Chief Minister's allegation that he was discriminated has not been proved as yet even as two ministers and a host of JD(U) leaders accompanying him at the temple have trashed his claim of being victimised on social ground on the day, the BJP leader said.
A high-level probe was ordered by Manjhi himself, but the officials were yet to submit their report, the former deputy chief minister said and accused the chief minister of seeking cheap publicity by claiming discrimination against him which has been denied by his own ministers and partymen.