With less than a month left for the Bihar Assembly elections, Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai Tuesday said if opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) comes to power, “terrorists would escape Kashmir and take shelter in Bihar”.
Speaking at an election rally in Vaishali, Rai said, “Agar RJD ki sarkar is chunav main ban gayi to jo Kashmir ke aatankwadi hain we Bihar main aakar sharan lenge. Aisa hum hone nai denge (If the RJD forms government in this election then the terrorists in Kashmir will seek shelter in Bihar. We won’t let that happen).”
#WATCH | Terrorists will escape Kashmir and take shelter in Bihar if RJD (Rashtriya Janata Dal) is elected to power in the state: Minister of State for Home, Nityanand Rai at an election rally in Vaishali, Bihar #BiharElections2020 pic.twitter.com/pS91Mnrrx2
— ANI (@ANI) October 13, 2020
His remarks drew sharp criticism from the Opposition as RJD leader and party’s chief ministerial candidate Tejashwi Yadav called it an attempt to divert the agenda of the election. “Unemployment rate in Bihar is 46.6%. What does he have to say on the terror of unemployment, poverty, starvation & migration? What did their double-engine govt do in 15 years? It’s their attempt to divert from agenda but we want to contest election on agenda,” news agency ANI quoted him as saying.
His fellow party leader, Manoj Kumar Jha, said, “Every Bihari is feeling hurt and humiliated by Nityanand ji’s statement. His remark also raises a serious question to the office of Home Minister Amit Shah.”
However, BJP’s Bihar unit chief Bhupendra Yadav defended Rai, saying his statement was being twisted. “Nityanand Ji’s statement meant that BJP is strongly fighting against terrorism… in a way the remark is being twisted. He said it in context of national security,” ANI quoted Yadav as saying.
Rai’s statement is strikingly similar to the one made by the Amit Shah, then president of the BJP, during the 2015 Assembly polls in the state, where he had said if the BJP loses in Bihar by mistake, then their defeat would be “celebrated in Pakistan by bursting crackers“.
Voting for 243 assembly constituencies in the state will be held in three phases — October 28 (71 seats), November 3 (94 seats) and November 7 (78 seats). The counting of votes will take place on November 10.
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