Nitish Kumar’s comments describing drinkers as “Mahapaapi (sinners) who are not Indians” have drawn a retort from Bihar opposition leader Tejashwi Yadav, who wondered today whether the Chief Minister was also referring to soldiers who drink.
“Going by Nitish Kumar’s logic, Indian soldiers who drink are also not Hindustani. Criminals who spill rivers of blood and the corrupt are not Mahapaapi or Maha-ayogya (sinners and worthless) but drinkers are?” Tejashwi Yadav tweeted in Hindi, sharing a video of Nitish Kumar’s comment in the Bihar assembly.
The RJD leader had said in an earlier tweet that the Chief Minister was “tired and defeated” and that even his ally BJP was realising it now.
On Wednesday, Nitish Kumar made an impassioned speech in the Bihar assembly over hooch tragedies in the state that banned liquor in 2016. The assembly was discussion amendments to make the liquor ban less stringent for first-time offenders.
He said even Mahatma Gandhi opposed drinking and those who did not abide by his principles “did not deserve to be called Hindustani but Mahapaapi and Maha-ayogya.”
He added: “I don’t consider these people Indians.”
Mr Kumar also made it clear that his government would not pay compensation for hooch-related tragedies.
“It’s their fault. They consume liquor even after knowing that it could be toxic,” he said.
The Chief Minister has come under attack from both alliance partner BJP and opposition RJD following liquor tragedies that led to more than 60 deaths in the last six months of 2021.
The opposition alleges the ban on liquor has remained only on paper and has been misused to extort money from people.