Lucknow: Protesters hurled tomatoes and eggs on Saturday at the home of Uttar Pradesh minister Om Prakash Rajbhar for saying that Rajputs and Yadavs consumed more liquor than others.
Youths, some of them wearing red caps, mobbed the minister's official residence in Hazratganj area here this afternoon, raising slogans and damaging his name plate.
Reacting to the minister's remarks, Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav tweeted, "It is people who use intoxicants, not any caste." Rajbhar had made the controversial remarks in Varanasi yesterday while arguing against drinking.
"The maximum blame is put on Rajbhars, but the maximum liquor is consumed by Yadavs and Rajputs," the minister for backward classes welfare had said.
"This is their ancestral business," he is heard saying on television. But he added that people from his own Rajbhar and all other castes also drink.
"If you want to know the pain, ask any mother, sister or wife to whose homes their loved ones come drunk," he said.
Rajbhar heads the Suheldev Bharatiya Party, an ally of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.
He has courted controversy earlier with his criticism of the performance of the Yogi Adityanath government in the state.
In another controversial remark on drinking, he had said, "If someone offers you liquor, consume it but vote as per you discretion."
In his tweet, Akhilesh Yadav asked, "Why only liquor?" He said campaigns should also be run against the consumption of other intoxicants, listing "ahankar" or ego along with ganja, charas, tobacco and tobacco.
"It is people who use them, not castes," he wrote in Hindi.
Police said nobody has been detained yet over the protests at the minister's home. "We are probing the matter," an officer said. - PTI