OBC leader makes controversial statement, saying the two dominant communities consume the most amount of alcohol, not his own Rajbhar community as alleged.
New Delhi: Uttar Pradesh cabinet minister Om Prakash Rajbhar courted controversy Friday when he proclaimed in a television interview that Yadavs and Rajputs ‘consume the most amount of alcohol, because this is their ancestral business’.
In response to a question about banning liquor in the state, Rajbhar pointed to the allegations against his community of being alcohol guzzlers. “Is samay sabse zyada aarop to Rajbhar ke upar hain, par sabse zyada daaru to Yadav peeta hai, Rajput peeta hai, kyunki ye uska pushtaini karobaar hai (Rajbhars face the most accusations, whereas it is Yadavs and Rajputs who drink the most. Drinking is their ancestral business),” the minister, who belongs to the BJP ally Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party.
Rajbhar, an OBC leader, is the MLA from Zahoorabad, and is the minister for backward classes welfare and the department of disabled people development.
Yadavs and Rajputs are the dominant castes in Uttar Pradesh.
Rajbhar has been known to cause controversies in the past too.
In September 2017, while addressing a rally of extremely backward dalits in Mau, he had made a statement about alcohol use among his community. He had said that when Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked him how he ran the SBSP without money, he told him that while the people of his community may not have money, the amount the UP government spends in a month is the same as what Rajbhars spend on drinking in one day.
A month before, while addressing an SBSP rally in Moradabad, he had used a dialogue from the classic Hindi film Sholay to say he would destroy corrupt people and be a ‘Gabbar Singh’ figure for them.