Another BJP MP has made provocative comments on RJD’s Sarfaraz Alam’s win in the recent Araria bypolls, saying the seat is “slowly turning into Pakistan”. Rashtriya Janata Dal’s Sarfaraz Alam won the Lok Sabha seat in Araria in the recently concluded by-elections. “Have been raising this issue since long that Kishanganj, Katihar & Araria (all in Bihar) are slowly turning into Pakistan but govt’s inaction, thinking & vote bank-politics has pushed Bihar towards the brim of destruction,” news agency ANI quoted BJP MP Gopal Narayan Singh.
This is not the first time a saffron party leader has made provocative comments on Araria while targeting its Muslim population. On Thursday, March 15, Union Minister Giriraj Singh said the seat would become a “hub of terrorism,” dangerous not only to Bihar but to the entire nation.
“Araria keval seemavarti ilaka nhi hai, keval Nepal aur Bengal se judha nhi hai. Ek kattarpanthi vichardhara ko unhone janam diya hai, Yeh Bihar ke liye khatra nhi hai desh ke liye khatra hoga. Woh atankwadiyon ka gadh banega (The RJD has started a new political culture for its political ambitions… They have spawned an extremist ideology which is a danger not only to Bihar but also to the country in the coming days. It will become a hub of terrorism),” the Nawada MP told reporters in Delhi.
Alam defeated BJP’s Pradeep Kumar Singh by over 60,000 votes in Araria.
Prior to this, on Sunday, March 11, a case had been registered against state BJP president and Ujiyarpur MP Nityanand Rai for making controversial statements during a campaign speech for the RJD’s candidate for the Araria Lok Sabha seat. On March 9, Rai, in his address to a rally, had said that if Alam won, Araria would become a “den of the ISI”.
In a video submitted by Narpatganj Circle Officer Nishant Kumar to the Narpatganj police station, Rai can be heard saying, “…Agar Sarfaraz jeet gaya to ISI ka adda ban jaayega Araria, Pradip Singh jitenge to deshbhakton ka adda rahega Araria… Main unse bhi poochhna chahta hoon jo vote maang rahe hain Yaduvashiyon ka, ek baar bhi kisi Yaduvanshiyon ke neta ne nahin kaha ki gomata hi hatya hui hai, usko giraftar karo. Gau ke hatyaron ke saath dene walon ko ek bhi vote ka adhikar nahin hai (If RJD candidate Sarfaraz wins, Araria will become a den of the ISI. If Pradip Singh wins, it will remain a place of patriots… I want to ask those seeking the votes of Yadavs, not once has any Yadav leader asked for the arrest of the killers of cows. Those siding with the killers of cows do not deserve even one vote).”
The BJP faced drubbing at the hands of the RJD in Bihar and the SP-BSP alliance in Uttar Pradesh in the civic polls conducted in Jehanabad, Bhabua and Araria, as well as Gorakhpur and Phulpur, respectively.
While the RJD retained the Jehanabad and Araria seats, the BJP managed to keep Bhabua.
Gorakhpur is an important seat for the ruling party in the state as it had been a BJP bastion since the last 30 years, with current Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath having vacated the seat to take over the reigns of the state, necessitating polls for the seat.