Bihar BJP chief Nityanand Rai on Friday sparked a row by saying at a rally that if RJD candidate Sarfaraz Alam wins in Araria, then the constituency will become the hub of ISI, but if BJP candidate Pradeep Singh wins, then it will be a place of nationalists
“Friends, I want to tell you clearly that this battle here is serious. If Sarfaraz secures a victory, then Araria will become a hub of ISI. If Pradip Singh wins, this place will remain a hub of patriots,” said Rai during his address at a campaign rally at Narpatganj in the northeastern constituency.
In Araria, Muslims account for 41 percent of the electorate, RJD candidate Sarfaraz Alam has been pitted in a direct contest against BJP’s Pradip Kumar Singh.
Alam is the son of former Araria MP Mohammad Taslimuddin, whose death in September last necessitated the by-poll.
“I want to ask those who are seeking the votes of the Yaduvanshis (Yadav community). Have they said even once that those who kill cows should be arrested? Those who have sided with the killers of cows do not have the right to even one vote of the Yadavs,” said Rai in his address.
RJD, Bihar’s main Opposition party with the largest number of MLAs in the state Assembly, slammed Rai’s statements, saying BJP is desperately trying to gain in the by-poll by giving the campaign a communal twist. Most RJD leaders were, however, wary of speaking at length on the matter for fear of a polarization of voters along communal lines.