Patna: Terming the victory AIMIM in the Kishanganj Assembly by-poll as "dangerous" for Bihar, Union minister Giriraj Singh on Friday accused Asaduddin Owaisi's party of adhering to the ideology of Pakistan founder Mohd Ali Jinnah.
The BJP leader, known for his hardline stance on Hindutva and nationalism, said the maiden victory of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) in Bihar could imperil "social harmony" in the state.
"In the Bihar by-elections, the most dangerous outcome is the result of Kishanganj. Owaisi's party AIMIM adheres to Jinnah's ideology. They hate (national song) Vande Mataram. Bihar's social harmony faces a threat from them. The people of Bihar must think about their future," Singh wrote on his official Twitter handle.
The AIMIM which had unsuccessfully tried to find a toehold in Bihar politics in the general elections earlier this year and the assembly polls four years ago pulled off a surprise victory in the by-election necessitated by sitting Congress MLA Mohd Javed getting elected to the Lok Sabha.
Qamrul Hoda clinched the seat, defeating his nearest BJP rival Sweety Singh by a margin of over 10,000 votes while Javed's mother Sayeeda Banu, who made her debut in electoral politics at the age of 72 as a Congress candidate, finished third and lost her deposit.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's JD(U), known not to share the BJP leader's hardline views, reacted with vexation.
"We would like to know what Mr Singh has done to foster harmony in Bihar. If he is so concerned about the state, why doesn't he resign from the post he holds in Delhi and dedicates himself full-time to improving the situation in Bihar," JD(U) national general secretary and state minister Shyam Rajak remarked sarcastically.
Congress MLC Prem Chandra Mishra attacked the Union minister for his statement and accused the BJP of having a "tacit understanding" with AIMIM. "Giriraj Singh is trying to fool the people.
The BJP and the AIMIM have a tacit understanding. Both thrive on communal polarization and need each other to sustain themselves," Mishra said. Qamrul Hoda of the AIMIM could not be contacted for his reaction.