New Delhi: The split within the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came out in the open on Friday with some party leaders backing veteran lawyer Ram Jethmalani's controversial comment on Lord Ram, the protagonist in the epic 'Ramayana', while others lashed out at him.
BJP spokesperson Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said Jethmalani should not have made such a comment.
"Even after being named Ram, Jethmalani is criticizing Lord Ram, I don't think this is right," he said.
BJP leader Vinay Katiyar, however, backed Jethmalani's controversial comments on Lord Ram, saying he agreed with the latter's opinion that Sita shouldn't have been banished on the basis of a fisherman's allegation.
"Ram Jethmalani's name should have been Sitaram, because it has the names of both husband and wife. Many do not find Ram's decision to be right, that too when Sita was pregnant. I too am of the opinion that a pregnant Sita shouldn't have been asked to leave," he said, while poking fun at Jethmalani.
Meanwhile, a furious Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Praveen Togadia hit out at Jethmalani over his remarks, and asked the veteran lawyer if he has the same courage to insult Prophet Mohammad.
"He has courage to insult Lord Ram because of the tolerant nature of Hindu society. Does Ram Jethmalani have guts to utter similar thing about Prophet Mohammad?" he asked.
Acharya Pramod Krishnam, a Hindu saint, also took potshots at Jethmalani, and said that the latter has lost his mind due to his advancing age.
" His name also begins with Ram. Instead of talking nonsense, it would be better for him to change his name from Ram Jethmalani to Ravana (demon king) Jethmalani," he added.
Jethmalani had earlier on Thursday referred to Lord Ram as a bad husband for sending his wife Sita to exile for no specific reason.
"Ram was a bad husband. I don't like him at all. Just because some fisherman said something, he sent that poor woman (Sita) to vanvaas (exile). Lakshman was even worse. When Sita was abducted, Ram asked him to go find her as she was abducted under his watch. Lakshman simply excused himself saying she was his sister-in-law and he never looked at her face, so he wouldn't be able to identify her," he said at a book release function here.