New Delhi: Stoking controversy, Union Minister Giriraj Singh on Thursday said that Araria will soon become a "terror hub". His statement came after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lost the Araria Lok Sabha bypoll to the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD).
Speaking to ANI, the BJP leader dubbed the result of the bypolls a threat for the state as well as for the nation.
"Araria isn't only a border area, it isn't only connected to Nepal and Bengal. An orthodox mentality has been formed after this. This is not only a threat for Bihar, but also for the country. It will become a terror hub," said Singh.
Slamming the minister for his remarks, RJD leader and former Bihar CM Rabri Devi said, "They are flustered as the people have given them an answer. Bihar and Uttar Pradesh's voters have shown them the door. They should speak with responsibility and seek an apology from the people of Araria, otherwise, the voters will not forgive them in 2019."
The comment also invited strong reaction from another RJD leader and former Bihar deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav. He said that the BJP should withdraw support from Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar if it did not believe in his leadership.
"This man is a central minister and unfortunately he is not aware that it's his government in Bihar and Delhi. If he and the BJP don't believe in Kumar's leadership, then why don't they ask him to step down or withdraw support. Such a shame for Nitish Kumar," he said.
This Man is the Central Minister and Unfortunately he is not aware that it’s his government in Bihar & Delhi. If he & BJP doesn’t believe in Nitish Kumar’s leadership then why don’t ask him to step down or withdraw ur support. Such a Shame for Nitish Kumar.. https://t.co/o8N7HWyGxf
— Tejashwi Yadav (@yadavtejashwi) March 15, 2018
The RJD on Wednesday won the Araria Lok Sabha seat in Bihar as well the Jehanabad Assembly constituency while the BJP bagged the Bhabhua Assembly segment in bypolls that were considered the first electoral test after Nitish dumped the grand alliance and joined hands with the BJP in 2017.
JD(U) candidate Abhiram Sharma was beaten in Jehanabad by more than 35,000 votes by RJD's Suday Yadav. While the BJP fielded candidates in Araria and Bhabhua, the JD(U) was in the fray in Jehanabad. In Araria, RJD's Sarfaraz Alam defeated his nearest BJP rival Pradip Kumar Singh by over 60,000 votes.
Alam had crossed over from JD(U) to Lalu Prasad Yadav's party to contest the bypolls necessitated by the death of his father and RJD MP Mohammad Taslimuddin on September 17, 2017.
In Jehanabad, RJD's winner Suday is the son of Mundrika Singh Yadav, former state minister and a close associate of Lalu, whose death necessitated the bypolls.
BJP's Rinki Rani Pandey, wife of Anand Bhusan Pandey whose death caused the bypoll, defeated Congress rival Shambhu Singh Patel by about 14,000 votes in Bhabhua.
(With PTI inputs)