Union minister Giriraj Singh advised the people of his Begusarai Lok Sabha constituency in Bihar to "beat up with bamboo sticks" those officials who appeared insensitive to their concerns.
The firebrand Bharatiya Janata Party leader, who has a reputation of shooting from the hip, made the remark while addressing a function organised by an agriculture institute in Khodawandpur.
The minister, who holds fisheries, animal husbandry and dairy farming portfolios, rued that he frequently receives complaints from common citizens that officials concerned often paid little heed to their complaints.
"I say to them, why do you come to me for such small things. MPs, MLAs, village mukhiyas, DMs, SDMs, BDOs... these are all under obligation to serve the people. If they do not listen to you, pick up a bamboo stick with both hands and give a crushing blow on their head," said Singh.
"If even that does not work, then Giriraj shall throw his weight behind you," he said, evoking applause from the crowds even as dignitaries sharing the dais squirmed in their seats.
A BJP leader in the Bihar capital, speaking on condition of anonymity, said, "Giriaj Singh is a mass leader who has to be responsive towards public anger. We should take his statement figuratively, not literally."