Patna, Oct 17 (IANS) A day after Union Minister Giriraj Singh's controversial remark in which he accused the Congress of fielding a "sympathiser" of Mohammad Ali Jinnah from the Jale seat in Darbhanga, BJP leader Syed Shahnawaz Hussain also attacked the Congress, saying it was advocating the restoration of Article 370 if it came to power.
Speaking to mediapersons on Saturday, Hussain said the Congress and other partners in the Mahagathbandhan should clarify their position on fielding Maskoor Usmani, a former Aligarh Muslim University student union leader, from the Jale seat.
Usmani, a native of Darbhanga, had been booked under sedition charges in 2019, for allegedly raising anti-national slogans.
"Does the Mahagathbandhan endorse the ideology of Jinnah?" asked Hussain.
Meanwhile, the Congress party hit back at the BJP. A spokesperson of Congress' Bihar unit said that the BJP is facing a losing battle in this election. So, they are diverting the attention from real issues such as unemployment, migration and the flood situation.
"With just 11 days remaining for first phase, the BJP wants to polarise voters in Bihar through provocative statements," he said.
As per election commission data, Muslims comprise 17% of Bihar's electorate. It has a sizeable presence ranging between 30% and 45% in districts such as Purnea, Araria, Kishanganj, Supaul, Darbhanga, Madhubani, West Champaran and East Champaran.
Referring to article 370, Shahnawaz said that PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti and NC leader Omar Abdullah conducted a joint press conference and said that Article 370 should be restored.
"The Congress party is hand in glove with them. I want to point out at P. Chidambaram's statement that advocates that Article 370 be restored," said Hussain.
"The Congress party is talking like separatists. They should clarify their stand to the people of Bihar. Does the Congress party want to roll back Article 370?"
Hussain also attacked the Mahagathbandhan manifesto and said that Tejashwi Yadav wants to take the state's development back by 15 years.