“The BJP did the same in the 2015 elections when Amit Shah said ‘firecrackers would go off in Pakistan if the BJP lost’ and the RJD alliance won,” RJD spokesman Mrityunjay Tiwari told ET. “We emerged as the largest party in Bihar even then, and now, we are being accused of sheltering terrorists – so did the people choose a party in 2015 which promotes terror?”
“This is an insult of the Bihari people and we knew they (BJP) would want to polarise the agenda like this and divert attention from real issues,” Tiwari said.
RJD’s chief ministerial candidate Tejashwi Yadav questioned the JD (U)-BJP alliance’s governance in the state, saying “what about the terror of unemployment in Bihar?”
Rai was not available for comment on Wednesday.
In a rally on Monday, he had said that if RJD wins, terrorists who are being eliminated in J&K will find shelter in Bihar and accused the RJD of being capable of doing any kind of agreement with such elements. He also said no one was feeding ‘biryani’ to terrorists under the Narendra Modi government.
BJP’s ally JD (U) though took a cautious line. “As MoS Home, Rai knows the issue,” Ajay Alok of JD (U) said, pointing out that the Darbhanga terror module had come up in Bihar earlier and blasts went off in Patna’s Gandhi Maidan. “Our moot issue, however, remains Bihar’s development,” he said.
BJP’s national general secretary Bhupender Yadav said Rai’s statement had been twisted and that he spoke in the context of national security.
Even as the ruling and opposition camps rallied for and against Rai, his party colleague and state’s deputy chief minister Sushil Modi also courted controversy by asking the poor voters in the state to take money if offered by BJP’s opponents but vote instead for the BJP candidates.
Modi made the comment at a rally for BJP candidate Ashok Singh in Ramgarh on Tuesday.
“Can anyone buy the votes of the poor and defeat Ashok Singh? I would tell the poor, take the money but vote for Ashok Singh. Do not sell your integrity,” Sushil Modi had said.
RJD leaders pointed out how Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal was issued a show-cause notice by the Election Commission for a similar statement made by him last year.
The BJP is now planning to field Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath for campaigning in Bihar.