The BJP on Friday moved the Election Commission against the Grand Alliance alleging its leaders were trying to polarise voters of Bihar even before the latter could lodge its protest with the panel against the saffron party president Amit Shah’s “firecracker” remark.
A Bharatiya Janata Party delegation led by Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi met the chief election commissioner and two election commissioners and filed a complaint against leaders of the Congress party, Janata Dal(United) and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) accusing them of trying to disturb communal harmony in the state during the assembly elections.
“The Congress-RJD-JD(U) have been engaged in a conspiracy to disturb communal harmony in the state by making provocative and derogatory statements against BJP leaders,” the delegation said, adding that Congress vicepresident Rahul Gandhi had said on Thursday, “the BJP wants to get votes by making Hindus and Muslims fight against each other”.
The BJP named the Congress vice-president, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar and RJD supremo Lalu Prasad in their complaint to the election panel.
It also alleged that Lalu had been using foul language against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah. The memorandum said while Shah has been dubbed as a ‘cannibal’, Modi has been described as a ‘vampire’ by Prasad in his election speeches.
The RJD chief accused Shah of a below-the-belt attack against the people of Bihar, including Hindus, Muslims, Dalits, OBCs by terming them as Pakistani through his ‘firecrackers’ comment and again called him a “narbhakshi” or a cannibal.
“BJP’s narbhakshi Amit Shah finally went mad when he said in a speech yesterday that Pakistan will celebrate when the Mahagathbandhan wins the assembly elections. Once again he has managed to insult the people of Bihar but this time it has gone below the belt,” Lalu Prasad told reporters in Patna.
The BJP urged the EC to keep an eye on leaders making such statements and take “stringent action” to ensure a free and fair elections in the state.
Emerging from the meeting, Naqvi said that the “syndicate of corruption and bad governance” in Bihar has been trying to hide their “stain of corruption” through “chaos of communalism”. Naqvi said facing defeat the alliance was “attacking the nationalists while lauding the anarchy”.
He said by calling the attack against terrorism emanating from Pakistan as an attack on secularism, some people have crossed all the limits of “political bankruptcy”.
The BJP delegation included party general secretary Arun Singh, party national spokespersons Sudhanshu Trivedi and Sambit Patra and party national secretary Siddharth Nath Singh.
JD(U) leader KC Tyagi too condemned Shah’s remark and alleged that it was an insult to the Dalits and the backwards in Bihar.
“We will take this to the Election Commission and demand a ban against him from further campaigning in Bihar,” Tyagi told ANI.
The Congress too asserted that Shah’s statement was an indication by the BJP of their impending loss in the elections.
“India will celebrate and burst crackers before Pakistan when the BJP loses and we will defeat them with all certainty. I can tell you for sure that we are defeating them right now,” Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar told ANI.
Addressing a rally in Raxaul on Thursday, Shah had said that crackers will be burst in Pakistan if the BJP loses in Bihar.
The Grand Alliance had earlier alleged that after provocative speeches by Modi and provocative newspaper ads and photos by the BJP president, this was the latest attempt to communalise the Bihar polls.
The BJP president had made the comment during an election rally in Raxaul on Thursday.
“If the Bharatiya Janata Party is defeated in the Bihar assembly polls and does not form a government, firecrackers will be burst in Pakistan,” Shah had said.
He had also said jailed criminal-turned-politician Mohammad Shahabuddin would benefit the most if a government led by Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad comes to power in Bihar. Shahabuddin, a former parliamentarian, is currently lodged in Bhagalpur Central Jail.
The BJP had also placed front-page advertisements in local newspapers targeting Kumar’s government for going “soft on terrorists” and not taking strict action at the time of arrest of Indian Mujahideen leader Yasin Bhatkal.
Two separate FIRs had been filed earlier against Lalu for his use of the word “narbhakshi” (cannibal) against Shah. His ‘narbhakshi’ barb had come on October 1 in reaction to his ‘chara chor’ (fodder thief) remark about him in Patna while talking to mediapersons.
“A Narbhakshi and an exiled should not teach good conduct to Bihar. First he should tell people about his own misdeeds and stringent sections levelled against him,” the RJD chief had tweeted on on September 30.
(With PTI and ANI inputs)