New Delhi: 

The Election Commission on Sunday “censured” Union minister and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Giriraj Singh for his controversial remarks against the Muslim community at an election rally in Bihar.

The commission also condemned his statement and asked him to be careful with what he says during the enforcement of the model code period.

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The EC said Mr Singh has violated provisions of the model code and directions of the Supreme Court which had said that religion cannot be used while making statements during campaigning.

The Begusarai district administration had on April 25 charged Mr Singh for violating the poll code and the Representation of the People Act by making controversial remarks against Muslims at a rally on April 24, where BJP president Amit Shah was also present. 

Addressing the rally in Begusarai, Mr Singh had said in Hindi, “Those who cannot say Vande Mataram or cannot respect the motherland, the nation will never forgive them. My ancestors died at the Simaria Ghat and did not need a grave but you need three handspans of space.” 

In the 2014 Lok Sabha election, he was barred from campaigning in Bihar and Jharkhand over communal remarks. 

The veteran BJP leader is locked in a three-cornered contest with CPI candidate Kanhaiya Kumar and Rashtriya Janata Dal’s Tanveer Hasan in the Begusarai Lok Sabha constituency, where voting took place on April 29 in the fourth phase.