Union Railways Minister and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad on Sunday demanded the arrest of BJP leader Varun Gandhi for his alleged hate speech against the Muslims.
Lalu’s political opponent and Janata Dal (United) president Sharad Yadav, an ally of the BJP, also asked the Election Commission to take strict action against Gandhi for his alleged inflammatory speech.
“Had I been the home minister, Varun Gandhi and the leaders of the party to which he belongs, would all have been in jail by now,” Lalu said.
Charging the BJP with trying to “communalise the atmosphere” ahead of the elections, Lalu said the party was trying to “terrorise” the Muslims in the county.
“On the eve of elections, those trying to arouse communal passions should be consigned to the dustbin,” the RJD chief said.
“That is why I am strongly opposed to the Modi and Advani brand of politics because they allow and promote such kinds of divisive statements,” Lalu said.
Not to be left behind, the Bihar ruling JD (U) also used tough words against Varun Gandhi.
“The Election Commission should take strict action in this matter so that nobody dares to use such poisonous utterances during the elections,” party chief Yadav said.
“I am surprised that the commission with all the powers at its disposal… seems to be soft pedalling the issue,” he said.
Yadav made it clear that the JD(U) did not agree with communal politics and despite being in alliance with the BJP, had its “own secular agenda”.
The EC, after having received the replies from Varun and the BJP, is examining them and is expected to give its verdict on whether the BJP leader violated the model of conduct soon.
A criminal case has been registered against Varun in Pilibhit, but got anticipatory bail till March 27.