My ‘vote-for-caste’ statement misrepresented: Sheohar DM – Times of India

Debashish Karmakar | TNN | Aug 31, 2016, 11.01 AM IST
Patna: Sheohar district magistrate (DM) Raj Kumar has courted controversy for allegedly urging people of his community to vote only for the candidates belonging to their own caste. Though the DM on Wednesday said his speech was misrepresented by the media, a video shows him addressing people of a particular caste under EBC (economically backward class) category at Ganinath Temple in Sitamarhi district on Monday, urging them to vote only for their caste candidates even in case of enmity with them, so that to increase their representation in the elected bodies in Bihar.

“I had urged the people of my community to increase their representation in the assembly in personal capacity, and not as the DM of any district. I was present at the programme with my father Kumar Ranjit Prasad as a member of the community, and not as a DM,” Raj told this correspondent over phone, adding that the programme was the one-day yearly function for worshipping their ‘Kul Devta’ Lord Ganinath Govind.

The DM also said he had gone to the temple in the neighbouring Sitamarihi as there was no temple of their community in Sheohar district. “While addressing the people, I also urged them to spend the money saved — after enforcement of prohibition law in the state — on education of their children,” the 2010 batch IAS officer of Bihar cadre said.

“My intentions were not mala fide, but the video of my speech has been misinterpreted by a few people, leading to a controversy,” he said, adding that he had also urged the people of his community to raise funds for education of their children rather than spending the money on building a temple for the community. The officer is a native of Revelganj area in Saran district.

Meanwhile, sources said the state government has initiated an inquiry into the Sheohar DM’s speech.

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