Patna: BJP president Amit Shah on Thursday said 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.
“If the Bharatiya Janata Party is defeated in the Bihar assembly polls and does not form a government, firecrackers will be burst in Pakistan,” Shah said at an election rally in Raxaul.
Ruling Janata Dal-United spokesperson K C Tyagi condemned Amit Shah’s statement and said the party would complain to the Election Commission on Friday.
The BJP president said jailed criminal-turned-politician Mohammad Shahabuddin would benefit the most if a government led by Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad came to power in Bihar.
Shahabuddin, a former parliamentarian, is currently lodged in central Bhagalpur jail.
“Time has come for the people of Bihar to get rid of the jungle raj,” Shah said.
He said the NDA would form a government committed to the development of the state. “Only a BJP government can develop Bihar,” Shah said.
India began on Monday the first of five state elections to be held in coming weeks, important tests for Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he plots a course that he hopes will ensure him victory in a general election due by May.
Voters in the central state of Chhattisgarh went to the polls on Monday to elect representatives for 18 of the state assembly’s 90 seats in a staggered poll complicated by logistical problems and left-wing guerrillas.
The state of about 26 million people has been ruled by Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) since 2003, and he will be hoping to hold on to power.
“Some unholy people have handed guns to children who should have pens in their hands,” Modi told a rally in the state on Friday, referring to the rag-tag guerrillas battling government forces from forest hideouts. “They’ve finished the lives of our tribal children.”
Hundreds of election workers had to be flown in to remote polling stations by helicopter because of the danger posed by the rebels.
Modi called for voters to back his BJP and its vision of “development for all.”
The final phase of voting in Chhattisgarh, which is known for its coal, iron ore and bauxite reserves, will be on Nov. 20.
The BJP was the preference of about 43 percent of voters in Chhattisgarh, 7 percentage points ahead of the main opposition Congress party, according to a survey released last week by the Lokniti-Centre for the Study of Developing Societies.
Modi’s other big tests will be in the neighboring central state of Madhya Pradesh, where the BJP is slightly ahead of Congress, according to polls, and in the northwestern state of Rajasthan, where Congress is expected to emerge victorious.
A good performance by the BJP in the elections would help it deflect growing criticism over unemployment and a crisis in the countryside over falling farm prices and wages.
Elections will also be held for assemblies in Telangana in the south and Mizoram in the northeast.
The BJP has sent top leaders to campaign in Chhattisgarh, including Yogi Adityanath, a firebrand Hindu priest and the BJP chief minister in Uttar Pradesh state.