BJP, Congress approach EC against each other

New Delhi: Leaders of the BJP as well as the Congress-JD(U) combine took their political battle to the Election Commission on Friday, complaining against each other’s conduct in the ongoing Bihar assembly elections.

The Congress and Janata Dal-United complained to the Election Commission that the BJP was “promoting lies, false propaganda and communal tension” through advertisements in the ongoing Bihar elections.

The BJP hit back, blaming the grand alliance of JD-U, Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Congress for “attempting to disturb communal harmony” in Bihar

“In the ongoing Bihar elections, the BJP has been promoting lies, false propaganda and communal tension through advertisements. This has vitiated the electoral process by promoting communal tension,” said a memorandum submitted to Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi by Congress leaders Randeep Surjewala and Ajoy Kumar and JD-U’s K.C. Tyagi.

“(BJP president) Amit Shah’s presence creates tension as he makes problematic comments. Hence, we have requested the Election Commission that he should be kept away from campaigning,” Tyagi said after the meeting.

Randeep Surjewala said: “We requested the EC to take steps against the prime minister for his statements at BJP rallies.”

On the other hand, the BJP memorandum blamed Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, JD-U’s Nitish Kumar and RJD’s Lalu Prasad for flaring up communal sentiments in the state.

“The RJD-JD-U-Congress combine is trying to disturb communal harmony in Bihar assembly elections for the last several days,” said the BJP memorandum, signed by union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and party leaders Arun Singh, Sudhanshu Trivedi, Sambit Patra and Siddharth Nath Singh.

The letter quoted Rahul Gandhi as saying in an election rally: “The BJP wants to get votes by making Hindus and Muslims fight each other.”

“Lalu Yadav and Nitish Kumar have been making provocative and personal statements against BJP leaders to communally polarise the situation in Bihar,” it said.

The BJP also took on Lalu Prasad for calling BJP president Amit Shah a “man-eater”.

“The statements of Lalu Yadav against Amit Shah that a “man-eater has gone mad”, calling Prime Minister Narendra Modi “brahma-pishach” are highly condemnable and such statements violate the election code of conduct and provisions of the Representation of the People Act,” the BJP said.

“These statements are a conspiracy to disturb communal harmony in the state,” the party added.

Shah on Thursday said in Raxaul in Bihar that firecrackers would be burst in celebration in Pakistan if the grand alliance – and not the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance – formed the next government in Bihar.

Reacting to the state, RJD chief Lalu Prasad said in Patna on Friday that Shah was “insulting” nearly 11 crore Biharis.

“Amit Shah has insulted all Biharis, including Hindus, Muslims, Dalits and Other Backward Classes by terming us as Pakistanis. It has again exposed his mindset,” said Lalu.

“Bilkul pagal ho gaya hai. Poore Bihar ko apmanit kar raha hai (He has gone mad. He is insulting entire Bihar),” he added.

The former chief minister said it was not a cricket match between India and Pakistan that firecrackers would be burst if India was defeated. “The BJP is not India and Bihar is not Pakistan,” the RJD leader said.

Meanwhile, Modi targeted Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad, saying both would have to pay a price for insulting and abusing Biharis after becoming tired of abusing him.

He was referring to the charge that people attending Modi’s rallies were paid participants.

Addressing the first of his two election rallies on Friday in Gopalganj district, about 165 km from Patna, Modi said, “Now that you are tired of abusing Modi, you are abusing Biharis. They say that people who come to Modi rallies are paid money. Isn’t this an insult to all Biharis?”

“Nitish Babu, call me whatever you want to, but don’t hurt the sentiments of Biharis,” he said.

The fourth phase of voting in 55 of the 243 assembly constituencies of Bihar is slated for November 1. The final phase of voting will be held on November 5. The counting will take place on November 8.