Two senior BJP leaders from Bihar have publicly contracted their own leader and the state’s deputy chief minister, Sushil Kumar Modi, on the killing of a 60-year-old man in Darbhanga last week.
This was after both the district police administration and Modi denied communal link to Ramchandra Yadav’s beheading and blamed the property dispute for the murder. Modi on Friday had tweeted, “Totally false that murder in Darbhanga cose of naming Modi Chawk. Case of land dispute.Board was put long back,Murder has nothing to do with Board.
Totally false that murder in Darbhanga cose of naming Modi https://t.co/Vzjoj6xJaW of land dispute.Board was put long back,Murder has nothing to do with Board.
— Sushil Kumar Modi (@SushilModi) March 16, 2018
Modi’s clarification was contradicted by not one but two senior functionaries of his own party including the state unit’s president, Nityanand Rai. After visiting the place, Rai told reporters, “The dispute that escalated had started due to this chowk being named Modi Chowk.”
According to earlier reports, Rai was beheaded by a group of 50 men, who allegedly objected to his attempts to put up a board naming the intersection after Prime Minister Narendra Modi. His son, Tej Narayan, too claimed that Rai was killed by members of the opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal.
Police have arrested three people but have strongly rejected the claims made by Rai’s son and other BJP leaders adding that the victim’s family was using the prime minister’s name for a cheap publicity.
Union Minister Giriraj Singh, a known proponent of militant Hindutva ideology, blamed his government’s own police for hiding the truth. Alleging that the police did not allow the truth to reach the government, he said, “I don’t know why the police want to hide the facts… but the dead man’s wife told me that when they were threatened by the police when they mentioned the Modi board.”
This has come just days after the BJP suffered a crushing defeat in Araria Lok Sabha bypoll at the hands of the RJD candidate, Sarfaraz Alam. Several BJP leaders including Giriraj Singh had made desperate attempts to communalise the RJD’s victory by astonishingly alleging that the district will now become a hub of terror.
BJP supporters had even circulated a doctored video of RJD supporters chanting pro-Pakistan slogans to defame the Muslim community in the district.
Meanwhile, the suspended BJP MP from Darbhanga, Kirti Azad, lashed out at Singh for his attempts to divide the community in the district along the communal lines. He wrote, ” isn’t it unfortunate @girirajsinghbjp that our honourable #PM @narendramodi talks of “sabka saath sabka vikas” and u as union minister r going against his vision, dividing and polarising the masses in #Mithila. #NarendraBhai please stop this #LooseCannon. Its’ #NDAGovt in Bihar.”
Bihar is governed by the JDU-BJP alliance with Nitish Kumar being the state’s chief minister. The local police reports to the state government. Azad, who’s been representing Darbhanga Lok Sabha seat has been critical of the Centre’s Modi government. He was suspended from the BJP after accused Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley of corruption in DDCA.