NEW DELHI -- Bharatiya Janata Party MP Udit Raj opened up a can of worms on Sunday night after tweeting that Jamaican athlete Usain Bolt's success at the Olympics was a result of eating beef. The parliamentarian, who is also the National Chairman of the All India Confederation of SC/ST Organizations, later clarified that he was not advocating the consumption of beef, which is a sensitive issue in India.
Usain bolt of Jamaica was poor and trainer advised him to eat beef both the times and he scored 9 gold medals in Olympic— Dr. Udit Raj, MP (@Dr_Uditraj) August 28, 2016
The MP later tweeted: "My tweet is not even remotely connected to advocate beef eating rather it is reproduction of Bolt trainer statement."
He claimed that he had referred to the Bolt example only to "convey-players & society to look at ways to win in games rather blaming circumstances & Govt & eating is their choice".
I cited circumstances ofJamaica that despite poor infrastructure & poverty Bolt won 9 gold so our players should find ways like that to win— Dr. Udit Raj, MP (@Dr_Uditraj) August 29, 2016
As usain bolt &trainer found ways and means to win medals similarly our players and trainers should do as per their circumstances— Dr. Udit Raj, MP (@Dr_Uditraj) August 29, 2016
However, his initial comment and subsequent explanation has spiralled into a controversy, especially since several Indian states have enacted tough laws against beef trade and consumption. Many of these are BJP state governments.
The Dalit leader was a former critic of the BJP before joining the party before the national elections in 2014.