After controversy over statements by Union Minister Nithyanand Rai,on Friday,another Union Minster has triggered a controversy over the congress candidate in Jale constituency in poll bound Bihar.
Union minister Giriraj Singh questioned Congress for fielding former Aligarh Muslim University students' union (AMUSU) president Maskoor Usmani for the upcoming Bihar assembly polls, saying the party should explain if it supports Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
"Congress and Mahagathbandhan leaders have to answer the country if the Jale candidate supports JinnCongress and Mahagathabndhan have to tell if they also support Jinnah?," asked Singh, the Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying.
"Will Sharjeel Imam be their star campaigner?"he further asked.
Singh's mention of Jinnah was in reference to the controversy surrounding a portrait of Pakistan's founder in AMU hall in 2018. Usmani was the president of AMUSU at the time of the controversy and had defended the portrait.
Meanwhile Congress leader Rishi Mishra,who quit Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's party and joined the Congress earlier this year has fuelled a rebellion against the grand old party terming Dr Maskoor Ahmad Usmani, as "anti-national and Jinnah worshipper".
"It's a cruel joke. I left JD(U) to contest from Jale. I would've been okay if someone else got ticket but they gave it to a Jinnah follower who has sedition case against him. He (Congress candidate Maskoor Usmani) puts Jinnah's photo in his office'" reacted Mishra.
Misra is the grandson of former Railways Minister Lalit Narayan Mishra, who was one of the tallest Congress leaders from the state in the 1970's.
Rishi Mishra had contested unsuccessfully from Jale segment in Darbhanga district in the 2015 assembly polls, a year after he had grabbed the seat in a by-election. He had lost the seat to Jibesh Kumar of the BJP.
Congress has given Jale constituency ticket to former President of AMUSU, Dr Maskoor Ahmad Usmani. Usmani had won the presidential elections of the AMUSU in 2017 by defeating Ajay Singh by a margin of over 6700 votes.
Usmani was actively taking part in protests against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act. In 2019, he was booked for allegedly raising 'anti-national' slogans.
Usmani's Twitter handle was also suspended for criticizing the government for slapping UAPA on anti-CAA activists, including Meeran Haider and Safoora Zargar.
In Bihar,the first phase of polling will take place on October 28, while votes for the second phase will be cast on November 3. Jale constituency will go to polls in the third and final phase, on November 7. Counting of votes will be done on November 10
(With Inputs from agencies)