Bhagwat, Owaisi two sides of coin, says JD-U leader; BJP protests

New Delhi, Jan 7 (IANS) Janata Dal-United leader Shivanand Tiwari Monday said RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and MIM leader Akbaruddin Owaisi were "two sides of the same coin", attracting censure from the BJP which asked the JD-U leadership to "restrain" Tiwari.

"There is no difference between them (Bhagwat and Owaisi), both are two sides of the same coin... both create hatred in society in order to boost their vote banks," said Tiwari, a Rajya Sabha member from Bihar.

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat courted controversy by saying that marriage is a "social contract" where the wife is supposed to look after household chores and the husband expected to earn. He also said that a marriage could be called off in case either violated this contract.

Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) legislator Akbaruddin Owaisi returned to Hyderabad from London early Monday after he was summoned by police for questioning over his alleged hate speeches last month.

Tiwari also wondered if Bhagwat with his "reactionary talk" wanted to "bring forward the past teachings of Manusmriti".

Bharatiya Janata Party leader Ravi Shankar Prasad, addressing a press conference, termed Tiwari's comment as "undignified, uncharitable and very condemnable" and appealed to JD-U chief and National Democratic Alliance (NDA) convenor Sharad Yadav to "kindly restrain" their party leader.

Yadav, asked to react to Tiwari's statement, said: "Several statements are being made these days ... The statements show their thinking and views. All these are shallow statements."

He called for a debate on the condition of women in society and the increasing incidents of violence against them.

"In a way we have divided women in castes and religions in our society. The issue should be debated so that we can take corrective measures for the long term. It has happened in the past as well," he said.