The day BJP found itself on a back-foot after its leader Giriraj Singh remarks asking critics of Modi to leave India for Pakistan, steel minister Beni Prasad Verma provided ammunition to the saffron party to hit back.
A combination photo of Union steel minister Beni Prasad Verma (R) and BJP leader Giriraj Singh. (PTI Photo)
Verma in Lucknow alleged that BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi committed murder at the age of 18 and ran away from home. He also said that several criminal cases were registered against Modi at police stations in Gujarat, but he "took care of them" when he became the chief minister.
Read: FIR against Giriraj for Modi-Pak remark, BJP pulls him up
Read: Those opposing Modi will have to go to Pakistan, says BJP leader Giriraj Singh
BJP spokersperson Nirmala Sitharaman hit back describing Verma - against whom the Election Commission had expressed displeasure for using intemperate language against Modi this week - as a "history-sheeter" in making false allegations.
She also threatened to move Election Commission demanding cancellation of his candidate from Gonda in Uttar Pradesh for repeated violation of the model code and accused the Congress of having double standards on public discourse.
But, by the time she came out with a blistering attack against Verma, Congress leader KC Mittal had filed a complaint with the EC demanding registration of a case against BJP leader Giriraj Singh, who on Saturday had embarrassed the BJP by stating those who oppose Modi should leave India.
Read: BJP disapproves, Giriraj stands by statement about Modi critics
Caught on defensive, BJP president Rajnath Singh reportedly spoke with Singh asking him to maintain restrain and former Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi "disapproved" of his statement and termed it "irresponsible".
That was not enough to undo the damage. Singh became second leader after Uttar Pradesh in-charge Amit Shah to be booked for hate speech. On directions of the election commission, Bihar police registered a case against Singh for hate speech.
Read: FIR filed against Giriraj Singh, Gadkari, other BJP leaders