The Election Commission has censured Union minister Giriraj Singh, a BJP candidate from Bihar’s Begusarai, for his remarks made in April. Stating that his  Begusarai speech violated the Model Code of Conduct (MCC), the poll panel has warned the BJP leader to be careful in future about his public utterances.

The Chief Electoral Officer of Bihar had forwarded it a video clip containing Singh’s Begusarai speech, and the panel had issued a show-cause notice to Singh last month.

The EC said on Sunday it has received Singh’s reply but found he violated the Supreme Court’s directions and the provisions of the MCC that prohibited any appeal to caste or communal feelings to secure votes.

Singh had made the communal remarks, directed at the Muslim community, on April 24 during an election meeting in the presence of BJP president Amit Shah.

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 will need…”

The commission condemned the remarks, and in its order warned Singh “to remain careful in his public utterances during the currency of model code of conduct”.

Besides the complaint filed with the EC, an FIR was also lodged against him in connection with his Begusarai speech.

Last week, Giriraj Singh surrendered in a court in the Begusarai district in the case and was granted bail by the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate Thakur Aman Kumar.

Begusarai voted on April 29, in the fourth phase of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.