New Delhi: Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel’s father, Nand Kumar Baghel, was arrested and sent to 15 days in custody on Tuesday by a local Raipur court for allegedly making derogatory remarks against the Brahmin community.
The 86-year-old Nand Kumar Baghel was booked last week for allegedly saying that Brahmins should be “boycotted” and urging people not to let them into their village as they are foreigners, on a recent visit to Uttar Pradesh.
“Brahmins will be sent from the River Ganga to Volga. They are foreigners. They consider us untouchables and are snatching all our rights. I will urge villagers to not let Brahmins enter their village,” Nand Kumar Baghel had said.
After his father was charged in an FIR, the Chief Minister had stressed that no one is above the law.
“Nobody is above the law in my government, even if he is the Chief Minister’s 86-year-old father. As Chief Minister, I have the responsibility to maintain harmony among different communities. If he made a remark against a community, I am sorry. Legal action will be taken,” Bhupesh Baghel told reporters on Sunday.
“Everyone knows about my ideological differences with my father. Our political thoughts and beliefs are different. I respect him as his son, but as Chief Minister, I cannot forgive him for such mistakes which disturb public order.”
एक पुत्र के रूप में मैं अपने पिता जी का सम्मान करता हूँ लेकिन एक मुख्यमंत्री के रूप में उनकी किसी भी ऐसी गलती को अनदेखा नहीं किया जा सकता जो सार्वजनिक व्यवस्था को बिगाड़ने वाली हो।
हमारी सरकार में कोई भी कानून से ऊपर नहीं है फिर चाहे वो मुख्यमंत्री के पिता ही क्यों न हों।
— Bhupesh Baghel (@bhupeshbaghel) September 5, 2021
Mr Baghel also underlined that the Chhattisgarh government “respects every religion, caste and community and their sentiment”, and gives equal importance to everyone.
He tweeted: “As a son, I respect my father, but as a Chief Minister, none of his mistakes can be overlooked which disturbs the public order.”
An FIR was registered in Raipur on the complaint of the Sarv Brahmin Samaj against Baghel senior on Saturday night. The charges on the complaint include “promoting enmity between groups”.
For Mr Baghel, the family drama comes days after he apparently triumphed over his in-house rival TK Singh Deo, who had laid claim to his job saying he had been assured by the Congress leadership of a rotational arrangement for Chief Ministership. Mr Baghel’s half-term was done, Mr Singh Deo had asserted, and it was his turn. The feud became a huge crisis for the Congress.
Mr Baghel, however, refused to submit to any leadership change and made it clear to his party bosses that most MLAs were on his side. After a series of meetings in Delhi, Rahul Gandhi reportedly told Mr Baghel he would keep his job.