Defending Swami Prasad Maurya in the Ramcharitmanas row, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav said he will ask Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath about the meaning of “tadan” – or punishment — in the verse referred to by his party colleague.

Maurya, a prominent OBC leader in Uttar Pradesh, had recently triggered a controversy by claiming that certain verses of the Hindu epic “insult” a large section of society on the basis of caste and demanded that these be “banned”.

Among them was one that says women and “shudra” deserve “tadan”, roughly translated as “punishment”.

BJP leaders have condemned Maurya’s remarks. An FIR has also been lodged against him for making the controversial remarks.

“Our chief minister is from an institution and is a yogi. I will ask him about the lines of Ramcharitmanas on which discussions are being held today. What is the meaning of ‘tadan’ in the verse and for whom it is used,” Yadav told reporters on Sunday night.

“We follow both Ram and Krishna. This is not a matter of Swami Prasad Maurya’s remark but of the lines,” he said.

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On registration of FIR against Maurya, Yadav said, “BJP government can register FIR against anyone. Its work is to take credit of other’s work and change names. It cannot take credit of any work of its own.”

The government wants to keep the controversy over Ramcharitmanas alive to divert attention of people from inflation and unemployment, he said.

About the investors’ summit scheduled next month in the state, Yadav, apparently referring to Adani Group chief Guatam Adani, said the “market value” of an industrialist has fallen.

Yadav claimed that the State Bank of India (SBI) and Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) together suffered a loss of “Rs 1 lakh crore” because they had purchased shares of a “private company” and asked if the BJP government will take action against them.

On giving promotion to Maurya in the party organisation, Yadav said this is an organisational process and its objective is to reach people from all sections of society.

Maurya, the BJP-turned-SP leader, has been made the general secretary of the party.

ALSO READ | ‘Awarded for insulting Ramcharitmanas’: BJP on Swami Prasad Maurya’s new party post

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