Giriraj Singh, the BJP's candidate in Bihar's Begusarai, has received a notice from the Election Commission for his recent comment in which he had said that the country would not forgive those who "don't say Vande Mataram". In his speech, he had also made reference of those who "need three-arm's length of land" for burial. The poll took has taken exception to his comment, saying he has violated the code of conduct. He has 24 hours to respond to the notice.
"I want to say who don't say Vande Mataram, can't worship the motherland - Giriraj's father and grandfather died on the Simaria ghat by the banks of the Ganga and did not need a grave. You on the other hand, need three-arm's-length of land. If you don't do it, the country will never forgive you," he had said last week.
A First Information Report or FIR was filed at a police station against the minister for the comment for violating the Representation of the People Act.
In the notice, the Election Commission has said Mr Singh "wilfully" disobeyed the Supreme Court's order barring the use of caste and religion during election campaign.
Mr Singh, who was initially reluctant to contest from Begusarai, relented after meeting party chief Amit Shah last month. He is facing Kanhaiya Kumar, one of the most watched candidates in the national election. Mr Kumar is debuting as a CPI contestant against Mr Singh.
Mr Singh is known for making polarising comments. He often advises his opponents to go to Pakistan.
A case was filed earlier this month at a court in Bihar's Begusarai against Union Minister Giriraj Singh for making a casteist remark against a Congress lawmaker.
Voting in Begusarai took place today. The results will be declared on May 23.
With inputs from agencies