Assam Congress chief says sorry for 'love jihad in Mahabharata' remark

In a dream, my grandfather told me statement was wrong, says Bhupen Bora


Congress's Assam unit president Bhupen Bora, on Friday, apologised for drawing a parallel between 'love jihad' and Lord Krishna's relationship with Rukmini while commenting on the triple murder case in Golaghat.

On Monday, a 25-year-old man killed his wife and her parents over some family issues, and later surrendered before the police in Golaghat district. Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has been claiming that it was a case of 'love jihad' as the husband was Muslim and the wife a Hindu.

Reacting to it, Bora said, "All is fair in love and war. There are many stories in our ancient texts, including Krishna eloping with Rukmini, and the chief minister should not harp about marriages between people of different religions and communities in today's age.

As the comment drew sharp criticism from Sarma who warned that he may be arrested if a police case is filed, the Congress leader apologised.

"In a dream last night, my grandfather told me that the statement was wrong and it has hurt the people of the state," he told reporters.

"I have, therefore, decided to offer an earthen lamp and betel leaf and areca nut at a 'namghar' (Vaishnavite prayer hall) and seek forgiveness from the lord. I will do this not because I am scared of the chief minister or the BJP but as the people and the Sattradhikars (Vaishnav spiritual heads) have been hurt," he said.

Reacting to BJP's demand that he should not be allowed in 'namghars', Bora said the chief minister should rather "ask the police to kill me in an encounter".

"I am ready to sacrifice my life, and my family will not file any case but I should not be stopped from going to the prayer hall," he added.

Meanwhile, the BJP's youth wing BJYM filed police complaints in all the districts of the state against Bora.

Guwahati city BYJM president Nihar Ranjan Sharma filed a complaint at the Pan Bazaar police station, stating that he has hurt the sentiments of Hindus.

"Actually, he has made the statement as he is scared about the future of the party which is absolutely dark. We hope god gives him good sense and he changes for the better," Sharma said.

The chief minister had, on Thursday, criticised Bora's remarks and said, "We do not want to take the step of arresting people but if Lord Krishna is dragged into controversy, several 'sanatani' people will file cases in police stations and then how will I stop the police from taking action?"

"If someone files a case against a person for making such comments, he will be arrested," he said, without naming Bora.

'Love jihad' is a situation when a girl is forced to marry by changing her religion and Krishna did not force Rukmini to change her religion, he said.

The term 'love jihad' is used by right-wing groups to allege a ploy by Muslim men to lure Hindu women into religious conversion through marriage.

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