Just a day ahead of the final phase of Bihar election, an BJP advertisement on beef in newspapers sparked controversy, with political arch rival Bihar CM Nitish Kumar-led Grand Alliance knocking the doors of Election Commission (EC) seeking action against it.
Asking a series of questions, the BJP ad, raked up “silence” of CM Nitish Kumar over “repeated insult” to revered cow by his “friends everyday”, which appeared in local newspapers in Kisanganj, Saharsa and other parts of the state.
The ad also asked Nitish to “stop politics of vote bank and answer if he agrees with statements of his friends on beef.”
Additional Chief Electoral Officer R Lakshamanan said that the EC would seek report from the district magistrates where such advertisements have come up in newspapers to verify if there was any violation of election code.
The ad also cited purported statements of RJD President Lalu Prasad, his party Vice President Raghubansh Prasad Singh and Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramiah on beef and sought answer from Nitish Kumar. The advertisement featured a woman hugging a cow. It said that Lalu’s statements “insulted the cow which is ‘worshipped by all Indians’”.
Lalu Prasad’s comment regarding “Hindu also eats beef” was also quoted in the advertisement. It quotes Raghubansh Prasad Singh’s comment that “its written in Vedas and Puranas that saints used to eat beef in ancient times” and Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah’s comment that “ if I want to eat beef noboday can stop me”.
JD(U) General Secretary K C Tyagi said that a delegation of JD(U), RJD and Congress would meet Election Commission in Delhi today on the controversial BJP advertisement. He further claimed that the advertisement was against model code of conduct and the party which issued it should be punished.
“If Election Commission fails to initiate stern action we will knock the doors of President Pranab Mukherjee,” he added. The advertisement reads, “jawab nahi vote nahi” (if there is no answer no vote).