There will be celebrations in Pakistan if the Grand Alliance wins in Bihar, says Amit Shah
• Criminal-turned-politicians like Shahabuddin will celebrate if Grand Alliance wins, the BJP chief warned during a rally
• Amit Shah urged people of Bihar to use the elections to get rid of jungle raj
MOTIHARI: With two more phases of assembly elections to go, BJP president Amit Shah on Thursday raised the political temperature in Bihar by saying at a rally in Raxaul, along the India-Nepal border, that there’d be celebrations in Pakistan if the NDA loses in the state.
“If by any chance the BJP is defeated in these elections, crackers will be burst in celebration in Pakistan. Would you like that to happen?” asked Shah. The crowd roared back, “No!”
Shah’s comment came when the election battle is about to shift to Seemanchal area, where Muslims have a huge presence. Observers believe the BJP has done well in the third round, and is better placed in the fourth: an estimate which, if true, will mean that the showing in these two rounds will help it wipe out any gain that the rival alliance is perceived to have made in the first round.
This makes the fifth round, where 57 seats will be up for grabs, crucial for determining who gets to rule Bihar for the next five years.
The comments drew fire from the Congress with spokesman Tom Vadakkan saying, “This is the old practice of the BJP. It practiced this in Gujarat as well. It always wants to play this communal card to win elections. Questioning the mandate of elections, it is dividing Bihar.”
The BJP retaliated strongly against this, saying it’s rather hypocritical and dishonest of the Congress to talk of social harmony after having kept mum when its allies, Lalu Prasad and Nitish Kumar, brazenly called for caste wars.
Devendra Kumar of the BJP said in Patna, “The BJP chief was merely referring to the fact that India’s response to Pakistan’s provocations at the border has been robust and effective. A setback to a strong government, which has put an end to the long spell of enfeebled coalition, will naturally be welcomed by the country’s enemies.”
Shah said the grand alliance leaders, including Lalu and Nitish, are dividing people along caste lines and promoting identity politics, but the NDA’s aim is to develop the state for the betterment of Biharis. He asked the people not to fall prey to such political parties and their masters, and vote for the NDA.
Shah’s aggression on Thursday came after the party’s publicity offensive over the demand of its “secular rivals”
The JD(U) and RJD criticized Shah’s comment as an attempt to polarize voters. JD(U) spokesman KC Tyagi said the party would complain to the Election Commission on Friday.