A complaint has been filed against Bihar unit president of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Nityanand Rai, on charges of model code of conduct violation over an alleged communal statement. The BJP leader had allegedly said that if Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) candidate Sarfaraz Alam won the Araria Lok Sabha bypoll, then the town would become a hub of Pakistan’s spy agency ISI.
Rai, however, said that if Pradip Singh, a BJP candidate happens to win the election then the area would remain a hub of nationalists.
"If Sarfaraz Alam wins then Araria will become hub of ISI, if Pradeep Singh (BJP bypoll candidate) wins then Araria will be the hub of nationalists," said the Bihar BJP chief.
The Araria Lok Sabha constituency, where some 41 percent of electors are Muslim, has gone to polls along with two assembly seats on Sunday.
The RJD hit back, saying Rai`s remarks linking a Muslim Lok Sabha candidate for Sunday's by-election with the Islamic State has "exposed the communal mindset" of the ruling party.
Senior RJD leader Shivanand Tiwary said that in the past also BJP leaders had made such kind of statements to polarise voters in the state, recalling BJP President Amit Shah`s 2015 statement that if his party lost the Bihar assembly polls, firecrackers would burst in celebration in Pakistan.
"To polarise voters in favour of the BJP, Amit Shah stated during campaign then that if the BJP is defeated and does not form a government, firecrackers will be burst in Pakistan," Tiwary said.
Interestingly, Sarfaraz Alam was BJP ally Janata Dal United's legislator till last month when he quit the party and then joined the RJD to contest the by-election.
The Araria Lok Sabha seat fell vacant after his father Mohammad Taslimuddin, RJD MP, died last year. He had won the 2014 Lok Sabha elections despite a Modi wave in the state and other parts of the country.