Bharatiya Janata Party leader Giriraj Singh, who had gone underground for over six hours after a court in Jharkhand issued a warrant against him for his inflammatory speech, appeared on Wednesday afternoon and announced his surrender.
"I respect law of the land and will surrender in the court,” he said.
Singh tried to play down the issue when asked why he was untraceable for hours.
“I’m not Azam Khan (senior SP leader in UP), who did not comply with the Election Commission order. I respect the commission and will go by its order," he said.
The warrant against Singh was issued for his inflammatory speech that people who do not vote for Narendra Modi will have to find a place in Pakistan.
Singh, a former minister and candidate from the Nawada parliamentary constituency, was not available at his official residence in Patna after he was informed that a Jharkhand court issued a non-bailable warrant against him and a police team from Jharkhand left for Patna to arrest him.
"Saheb ghar mein nahin hain, subah se kahin gaye hain"(Boss is not at home, he’s out since morning,” said a staff at Singh’s residence.
His mobile phone too was switched off after 9 am on Wednesday. "It appears that Singh has gone underground to evade his arrest after the court order," a police official said.
Patna Superintendent of Police Jayant Kant told rediff.com that the Patna police would cooperate with their counterparts in Jhartkhand to arrest Singh if approached.
However, a BJP leader close to Singh said that he was holding discussions with his close aides about the situation.
The BJP top leaders have not only distanced themselves from Singh, but a senior party leader and former Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi said, “We are contemplating action against Giriraj Singh for his remark.”
The Election Commission on Tuesday banned Singh from holding election rallies and road shows in Bihar and Jharkhand. It has also asked him to submit an explanation by Thursday.
Earlier, Bihar's additional chief electoral officer R Lakshmanan said that the Jharkhand police have sought help from the Bihar government to arrest the BJP leader.
A first information report was registered on Sunday against Singh at a police station in Jharkhand's Deogarh. "The chief electoral officer of Jharkhand has requested the Bihar officials to arrest Singh," Lakshmanan said. He also said the state home department has been asked to look into the matter.
A case was also registered against Singh in Patna on Monday. The EC official said the order was given to the Patna administration after Singh failed to comply with a single-day deadline given to him to submit an explanation over his ‘anti-Pakistan’ remarks.
Image: BJP leader Giriraj Singh