Patna: Maoists Thursday set on fire the house of a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader in Bihar`s Gaya district, police said.
Over two dozen armed rebels set ablaze BJP leader Dhanraj Sharma`s house near Imamganj in Gaya, about 100 km from here. Sharma was not present in the house when the incident took place.
Police officers suspect that Sharma, vice-president of BJP`s Gaya district unit, was targeted by Maoists to punish him for deciding to go against their diktat not to support and instead help Bihar assembly Speaker Udai Narain Choudhary during campaigning for the forthcoming state polls. Sharma is considered a close aide of Choudhary.
Last month, Maoists had asked Choudhary not to enter his assembly constituency, Imamganj, for campaigning during the polls in October-November.
They had warned Choudhary not to organise programmes for distribution of the Indira Awas Yojna funds and also objected to his initiatives for construction of roads and bridges in the area. Imamganj is considered a stronghold of Maoists.
Choudhary is the first Dalit speaker of the Bihar assembly.