Ranchi: Jharkhand minister CP Singh of the BJP was seen coaxing a Muslim lawmaker to chant “Jai Sri Ram” right outside the state Assembly.  In the video, the minister can be heard saying, “Irfan bhai, I urge you to say ‘Jai Sri Ram’ loudly,” all the while holding Irfan Ansari’s hand.

As if that wasn’t enough, Singh further commented that Ansari’s ancestors were Ram-wale and not Babu-wale. Ansar quickly replied saying that the need of the hour was jobs, electricity, water, drainage.

"I am not saying it to scare you. Don't forget that your ancestors chanted 'Jai Shri Ram'... Taimur, Babur, Ghazni were not your ancestors. Your ancestors were Shri Ram followers," said Singh.

BJP’s Ashwini Upadhyay said to MyNation that the issue was resolved by the two of them with a hug. “CP Singh said Allahu-Akbar and Irfan Ansari said Jai Sri Ram and the matter was resolved then and there,” stated Upadhyay. He also admitted that he didn’t feel it was right to thrust one’s religion on to another.

CP Singh is the minister for urban development, housing and transport in Jharkhand's BJP government. Irfan Ansari is the legislator from Jamtara. 

The incident is the latest in a series where Muslims have been seen being forced to chant "Jai Shri Ram" slogan, failing which they bear violent consequences.

Last month, a Muslim man died in Jharkhand after being beaten for hours by a mob. They were filmed forcing him to chant the slogan. The 24-year-old had been accused of trying to steal a motorcycle.

On Tuesday, 49 prominent public figures wrote an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, drawing attention to "a number of tragic events" including mob killings and the alleged weaponisation of the slogan "Jai Shri Ram" into a "war cry".

"Regrettably 'Jai Shri Ram' has become a provocative 'war-cry' today that leads to law and order problems, and many lynchings take place in its name. It is shocking that so much violence should be perpetrated in the name of religion! These are not the Middle Ages! The name of Ram is sacred to many in the majority community of India. As the highest Executive of this country, you must put a stop to the name of Ram being defiled in this manner," the letter said.

Reacting to the letter, Ashwini Upadhyay stated, “These 49 people are selective celebrities. They only speak on certain topics and with agenda. If they were concerned about the issues, it shouldn’t matter to them which party is involved.”

Upadhyay went on to say that there were several BJP cadre who were being killed in West Bengal, but he said that no one was speaking about it.

In the Parliament, PM Modi had condemned the mob attack in Jharkhand last month, and said incidents of violence should be treated in the same manner and perpetrators of violence should be taught a lesson on this issue.