New Delhi: Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama’s reported remarks that the Bihar election results prove that a majority of the Hindus prefer harmony on Sunday received the support of the Janata Dal (United) or JD (U) while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) played down the statement. “India has a long tradition of peace and amity. The people of Bihar in the recent assembly elections have proved that a large section of the Hindu community still believes in peace and amity," the 14th Dalai Lama had said in Jalandhar on Saturday without naming any political party or leader. Terming the remarks of the Dalai Lama as an attack on “extremist elements", JD (U) leader K.C. Tyagi said the Tibetan spiritual leader has been in India for long and is aware of Indian culture.
“The statement made by him has given a strong and befitting reply to the extremist groups in India. The results of the Bihar polls show that forces of tolerance are not only active but are in majority," Tyagi told PTI. He pointed out that President Pranab Mukherjee too has flagged the issue of intolerance and the Bihar verdict has proved that “intolerance has been defeated."
Meanwhile, the BJP tried to downplay the remarks saying Bihar has for long seen communal harmony. “We have ensured that communal harmony in the state is maintained at all costs. We have worked to ensure that any attempt to disrupt the harmony is defeated...we fought the Bihar assembly polls on the agenda of development. We won four states but lost in two. This is part of democracy...the Grand Alliance had the arithmetic in its favour. But the chemistry favoured us," party spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain told reporters.
Asked whether the Dalai Lama’s remarks on intolerance should be a matter of concern for BJP, Hussain said his statement “should not be misinterpreted." Attacking Grand Alliance constituents Congress, JD (U) and Rashtriya Janata Dal over the 1989 Bhagalpur riots, the BJP leader said, “The blame for the riots is on Congress. Lalu Prasad buried the file and Nitish Kumar did not go ahead with the probe. Let us not forget that."