Bihar sits on a powder keg

Bihar sits on a powder keg
Bihar sits on a powder keg

PerformanceGurus Staff

New Delhi, Oct 31

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]W[/dropcap]ith two more rounds of polling to go, Bihar sits on an explosive powder keg amid desperate attempts by some elements to create a communal flare up to polarize the voters. In an elections christened as a `caste war’ by RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, the injection of communal venom is being seen as an antidote by the votaries of `Kamandal’ politics to prevent the return of the ‘Mandal’ era.

Shah had told an election rally at Raxual in East Champaran district that if BJP loses in Bihar Diwali will be celebrated in Pakistan.

The Election Commission of India, which stood by the sidelines when the rival leaders started mud-slinging and began making provocative statements at the start of the campaign, has acted too late in the day by banning the publication of two controversial advertisements of the BJP. But the damage has been done. It will be a challenge for both the Election Commission and the state administration to ensure that troublemakers were not allowed to spill the blood of innocents for political gains in the coming days.

It was feared that the “communal” drum beating will peak up ahead of the crucial fifth phase where the chief of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen. Asaduddin Owaisi has fielded six candidates in the Seemanchal districts. In these districts where the Muslim population ranges between 40 to 65%, Owaisi’s vitriolic attack on the BJP and his brother Akbaruddin’s ‘hate-mongering” against Hindus could come handy for those elements who want to turn the last two phases into a battle between Hindus and Muslims.

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]he BJP president Amit Shah’s claim that crackers will go off in Pakistan if his party loses in Bihar is undoubtedly part of a similar campaign that has rightfully invited the wrath of the Election Commission, which has sought a report on his statement and restrained the BJP from publishing ads which sought to project its rival leaders as Muslim appeasers and patrons of terrorists.

“We have sought report from district magistrates of East and West Champaran regarding the remark of BJP President Amit Shah,” Additional Chief Electoral Officer R Lakshmanan told reporters The EC has asked them to submit the report at the earliest and the election office would decide action based on their reports.

Shah had told an election rally at Raxual in East Champaran district that if BJP loses in Bihar Diwali will be celebrated in Pakistan.

This is not the first time that Shah has been in the dock for making such provocative speeches. In April 2014, during the campaign for Lok Sabha polls, Shah invited the ire of the EC when he reportedly justified the Muzaffarnagar riots in which 50 persons where killed and thousands displace din September 2013.

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]A[/dropcap]ddressing public rally at Shamli in Western Uttar Pradesh, Shah reportedly said that the election was a chance to seek “revenge for the insult” inflicted during the riots. “In Uttar Pradesh, especially western Uttar Pradesh, this election is one of honour, it is an opportunity to take revenge and to teach a lesson to people who have committed injustice,” he had said while campaigning in Shamli, one of the areas worst hit in the riots.

Shah is not the lone culprit for vitiating the atmosphere in Bihar. Lalu Prasad has indulged in `shameless’ promotion of caste politics and egged on his supporters to treat this election as a war between the upper castes and backward castes. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also not remained far behind by trying to polarize the voters by stoking the fear of Muslim reservation.
The issue of development has now been pushed into background, and the dark side of politics has come to centre stage in Bihar.

There have sporadic attempts to trigger communal violence in the state. Rumours about someone storing ”beef” here and there, pork being thrown at mosques, and hate speeches of the worst kind have been reported at regular intervals. Thankfully, the administration has been vigilant enough to nip all such `situations’ in the bud. Sources said that hundreds of top officers of state intelligence bureau and the police are maintaining round-the-clock vigil apprehending foul play in the run up to the fifth round of polls. The next few days are going to be tension-packed. The entire country will watch how the events unfold in Bihar on the communal front.

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