Union minister Giriraj Singh's declaration that officials who did not listen to the people be "beaten up with bamboo sticks" was on Sunday frowned upon by his former boss, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
Singh made his latest controversial remark at a function in his Begusarai Lok Sabha constituency on the previous day.
The firebrand Bharatiya Janata Party leader was visibly peeved over repeated complaints from locals that officials often paid no heed when they were approached with grievances.
Kumar, in whose cabinet Singh had served till less than a decade ago, was asked by journalists what he thought about the utterances.
"You should go and ask Giriraj whether the use of such language is nyaysangat (proper)," said Kumar, a stickler for propriety in public behaviour, with a broad smile barely concealing his detestation.
The Union minister, who moved to the Centre in 2014 and was elevated from minister of state to the cabinet rank five years later, had made the remark at a function organised by an agricultural institute.
Singh, who earlier represented Nawada but won Begusarai for his party by defeating Communist Party of India’s Kanhaiya Kumar by a margin of over four lakh votes, holds animal husbandry, fisheries and dairy portfolios.
A video footage of the function has gone viral on social media. Singh can be heard lamenting, "People come to me with the complaint that officials do not listen (nai sunaichhe, an idiom in local Angika dialect)."
"If that is the case, baans lekar maaro (beat them up with bamboo sticks)," said the MP, known for shooting from the hip, as some of the audience burst into laughter.
"If you are approaching an official with a genuine grouse, you do not even need to come to me asking for help. Stand your ground. Giriraj is there with you, always. It is you (the people) in whom the real power is vested, not MPs, MLAs, DMs, BDOs or Mukhiyas," he had added.