The Election Commission, on Monday, issued a show-cause notice to Union Minister and BJP candidate from Begusarai, Giriraj Singh, for a speech he delivered on Wednesday, April 24, at GD College, Begusarai. Singh had allegedly made communal remarks while addressing a BJP rally.

He has been given 24 hours to respond to the notice.

According to the EC, prima facie, Singh has violated provisions of the model code of conduct and directions of the Supreme Court which had said that religion cannot be used while making statements during campaigning.

Giriraj Singh, in his speech, had reportedly said, “Jo Vande Mataram nahin keh sakta, jo Bharat ki matrabhumi ko naman nahin kar sakta, arre Giriraj ke to baap-dada Simaria ghat me Ganga ke kinare hi mare, usi bhoomi par kabr bhi nahin banaya, tumhe toh teen haath ka jagah bhi chahiye, agar tum nahin kar paoge to desh kabhi maaf nahin karegi (Those who cannot say Vande Mataram, those who cannot bow to motherland Bharat, nation will not forgive you. My ancestors died at the Simaria ghat at River Ganga but they did not make a grave whereas you need three arms of land when you die),” in an apparent reference to the Muslims who bury their dead.

The Begusarai district administration had, on Thursday, taken a suo moto cognizance and booked Singh for making the comments at a rally where BJP president Amit Shah was also present.

In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, he was barred from campaigning in Bihar and Jharkhand for making communal remarks.

Singh is contesting from the Begusarai Lok Sabha constituency against CPI’s Kanhaiya Kumar and RJD’s Tanveer Hassan.

(With agency inputs)