Araria: Bihar state BJP chief Nityanand Rai has said that Araria will become a safe hub of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) if RJD's Muslim candidate Sarfaraz Alam wins in the Lok Sabha bypolls due here on Sunday.
Rai's remark evoked a sharp response from Bihar's main opposition party.
"If (Sarfaraz Alam of RJD) wins then Araria would turn into an ISI hub", BJP's Bihar chief Nityanand Rai said on Friday while speaking at a public rally.
If Sarfaraz Alam(RJD bypoll candidate) wins then Araria will become hub of ISI, if Pradeep Singh (BJP bypoll candidate) wins then Araria will be the hub of nationalists: Nityanand Rai,Bihar BJP Chief and Ujiarpur MP pic.twitter.com/ceg8Vczwpt
— ANI (@ANI) March 10, 2018
The Araria Lok Sabha constituency, where some 41 percent of electors are Muslim, goes to polls along with two assembly seats on Sunday.
Rai, however, said that if Pradip Singh, a BJP candidate happens to win the election then the area would remain a hub of nationalists.
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 JD-U's legislator till last month when he quit and 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.
(With Agency inputs)