A day ahead of the presidential polls, Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashwi Yadav on Sunday found himself under attack from the Bharatiya Janata Party for making disparaging remarks about National Democratic Alliance's candidate Draupadi Murmu.
The Leader of Opposition in Bihar assembly was asked about his decision to support Yashwant Sinha, a former Union minister, and not Murmu who is tipped to become the first tribal woman to occupy the top post.
"We do not want to install a statue inside the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Has anyone of you ever heard her (Murmu's) voice? She has not even addressed a press conference since her name was announced. At least we have all heard from Yashwant Sinha and have an idea of what he stands for," the former Bihar deputy CM said.
In a stinging response, the BJP's state president Sanjay Jaiswal made a snide remark about Yadav's mother Rabri Devi, a former chief minister.
"Tejashwi Yadav has seen in his own family how an uneducated housewife was placed on the highest seat of power, ignoring many seasoned leaders in the party," said Jaiswal, referring to Rabri Devi's sudden entry into politics in the late 1990s when she replaced husband Lalu Prasad who had to step down as chief minister after being charge-sheeted in the fodder scam.
Jaiswal said Murmu was 'a self-made woman' who rose from the ranks in politics and proved herself as a member of the Odisha assembly, which had once conferred upon her the award for the best MLA.
"As the governor of Jharkhand, her tenure was exemplary and non-controversial. So much so that the state's Chief Minister Hemant Soren's Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, which is not a part of the NDA, is also supporting her. But perhaps Tejashwi Yadav cannot respect a self-made woman," said Jaiswal.
He also accused Yadav of having brought ridicule upon Bihar by his utterances against Murmu and demanded an apology.
"Maybe he will be forgiven. He keeps saying things which make no sense, as he did recently during the prime minister's visit," he quipped, referring to Yadav's speech at a centenary function of the assembly last week during which he had fumbled badly.