By PTI

FATEHPUR/ PRAYAGRAJ: Nishad Party chief Sanjay Nishad on Tuesday apologised for a remark on Lord Ram that had triggered a row and also put ally BJP in a spot. In a statement Sunday in Prayagraj, he said Shringi Rishi Nishad and not king Dashrath was the father of Lord Ram, prompting the opposition to demand a reaction from the ruling BJP.

He said that Lord Ram is a revered by the Nishad community. “If any wrong words have been spoken about him, I apologize to God Shri Ram for it. Lord Shri Ram has done a lot for our community and our community has played an important role in the construction of the Shri Ram temple,” Nishad told reporters in Fatehpur.

He claimed that the opposition is upset over the alliance between his party and the ruling BJP and his statement was presented in a distorted manner. Lord Ram was born following a yagya performed by Shringi Rishi, according to the scriptures.

Portions of sweet kheer were distributed among Dashrath’s wives after the ritual. In Prayagraj earlier, Nishad, a Member of the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council had appeared to mock this. “No child can be born by feeding kheer,” he had said, arguing that the yagya was just for “namesake” and calling the kheer version a “respectful” story.

He referred to Lord Ram as Dashrath’s “so-called son” and the saint’s “real son”. Asked to comment on the sidelines of the Allahabad University convocation on Monday, BJP’s election in-charge for the state and Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan was dismissive. “Sanjay Nishad has said a lot of things to me as well. His party is part of the NDA and he is our good ally, and we will fight the elections together,” he said.

BJP state vice president Vijay Bahadur Pathak said he was not aware of Nishad’s remark. However, the opposition sought to corner the BJP on the issue. AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi demanded a clarification from RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on Nishad’s statement and said BJP leaders should give an explanation.

Samajwadi Party spokesperson Ashutosh Verma said if Nishad can talk in this manner after joining hands with the BJP, then the ruling party should be asked about its stand on it. He said that Nishad started talking about “Ram-Rahim” as soon as he came together with the BJP. “Inflation, unemployment and development are our main issues. I think Nishad ji should talk on serious issues now that he has become an MLC,” he said.

Uttar Pradesh Congress spokesperson Lalan Kumar accused Nishad of losing his “mental balance” after allying with the BJP, and demanded an “unconditional apology” from him. He said that Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath sometimes “insults” Mother Sita and or calls Lord Hanuman a Dalit, and Nishad too has become a victim of “mental bankruptcy”.

He accused the BJP and its allies of trying to change “religious history and facts”. “The devout will not remain silent on this. The BJP, which is doing politics on Lord Ram and the temple, should clarify its stand on Nishad’s statement,” the Congress leader added.