Kicking up a row with remarks aimed to polarise voters, Bihar BJP leader Giriraj Singh, who is also the party candidate from Nawada, has said “those who want to stop” BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi will soon have “no place in India… because their place will be in Pakistan”.
Singh made these remarks at an election rally in Deoghar, Jharkhand on Friday in the presence of former BJP president Nitin Gadkari and Godda MP Nishikant Dubey.
“Woh log Narendra Modi ko rokna chahate hain, woh Pakistan dekh rahe hain. Aane wale dino mein aise logon ke liye jagah Hindustan mein nahi, Jharkhand mein nahi, parantu Pakistan mein hoga, Pakistan mein hoga (Those who want to stop Narendra Modi are looking to Pakistan for support. In the coming days, there won’t be place for such people in India, in Jharkhand because their place will be in Pakistan, Pakistan),” Singh said.
A video clip of Singh’s remarks has also been uploaded on the NDTV website.
On Saturday, as BJP leaders tried to distance themselves from the remarks or claim that he had been quoted out of context, Singh tweeted from his account @girirajsinghbjp: “I maintain many Pakistani pro are constantly opposing namo. This nation belongs to Indian at heart else Pakistan always welcome anti India (sic).”
And on April 9, he had tweeted, “Those chanting secular, secular should open an NGO in Pakistan and Bangladesh and should work for minority betterment.”
In March, Singh had made his displeasure known after the party allotted him the Nawada seat instead of his preferred Begusarai. He hinted that fellow party leader Sushil Kumar Modi was responsible for the slight but later fell in line and accepted the BJP decision.
When his comments were sought on Saturday, Sushil Kumar Modi said: “I have also seen Giriraj Singh’s statements on the Internet. The party completely disowns his statement and will ask to refrain from making such statements.”
Singh did not respond to phone calls but BJP state president Mangal Pandey too said the party “does not subscribe to such views”.
JD (U) spokesperson K C Tyagi said: “We are writing to the EC about such a provocative and divisive statement made by the BJP’s Nawada candidate.”
Meanwhile, Nishikant Dubey, the sitting Godda MP who faces a triangular contest this time, claimed Giriraj Singh had been quoted out of context. “He was only responding to an allegation that (Jharkhand CM) Hemant Soren made a few days back. Soren had said Muslims would be nowhere to be found if the BJP comes to power. Giriraj was mocking it, saying they would next say that Muslims would have to go to Pakistan,” Dubey said.
(With ENS, Patna)