Mumbai: A day after Lalu Prasad Yadav-led Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) retained the Araria constituency in Bihar bypolls, Union Minister Giriraj Singh on Thursday provoked a huge controversy by commenting the district will become a "hub of terror".
Speaking to news agency ANI, the BJP leader dubbed the result of the bypolls a threat for the state as well as for the nation.
Speaking about the constituency, the Union minister said that it is not just a border area connecting Nepal and Bengal. Commenting on RJD's win, he added, "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."
The Araria Lok Sabha bypoll went to RJD with 61,788 votes.
Araria, which fell vacant after the death of RJD leader Mohammad Taslimuddin, witnessed a tough contest with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his ally BJP trying hard to seize the Muslim-dominated parliamentary seat but ultimately failing. Taslimuddin's son Sarfaraz Alam won the seat for the RJD defeating BJP's Pradip Kumar Singh.
A series of comments from the BJP since then have been assessed by critics as communal.
BJP leader and deputy Chief Minister of Bihar Sushil Kumar Modi also made an unsubtle statement in a tweet on Wednesday evening.
"RJD got a lead of 1 Lakh 30 Thousand votes from 2 Minority dominated constituency which led to their victory in Araria," tweeted Sushil Kumar Modi.
Lalu Yadav's wife and former chief minister of Bihar Rabri Devi hit out at the comments of Giriraj Singh and Sushil Kumar Modi.
"The Modi Mania, the cries of Harr Harr Modi, Ghar Ghar Modi have evaporated, so they are fretting," said Rabri Devi.
Calling for Giriraj Singh's apology, Rabri Devi said, "The people of Araria and Bihar have taught it a lesson. They should apologise. People of Araria won’t forgive them in 19. Are they terrorists?"
Rabri Devi also accused the BJP of relying on "communal colours and rioting".
This is not the first time that the BJP has resorted to communal vote politics, prompting allegations by RJD and others in the opposition that it was trying to polarise voters. Muslims make up 41 per cent of the electorate in Araria.
While campaigning for the bypolls last week, Bihar BJP chief Nityanand Rai stoked controversy after he allegedly said, if the RJD candidate Sarfaraz Alam wins the by-election, Araria will become a safe haven for the ISIS.
(With inputs from agencies)...