NEW DELHI: Bihar's ruling NDA on Monday sought to make the heckling of Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairperson Harivansh an election issue, saying opposition members' "misconduct" towards him has hurt the pride of the poll-bound state and people will give them a befitting reply in the assembly election.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said what happened during the passage of the farm bills in the upper house on Sunday was "very wrong" and no amount of condemnation would be enough.
He was speaking at a virtual programme attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who laid the foundation stone of nine highway projects and inaugurated optical fibre internet services.
The state is headed for assembly polls with the Election Commission expected to announce the schedule soon.
The NDA, which comprises the Kumar-headed Janata Dal (United), the BJP and the Lok Janshakti Party in Bihar, has already been targeting the opposition Congress over actor Sushant Singh Rajput's death, accusing the Maharashtra government of not carrying out a proper investigation into his alleged suicide.
Rajput hailed from Bihar and the CBI is now probing his death on June 14.
At the virtual programme, Bihar Deputy Chief Minister and BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi said the people of the state will give a befitting reply to the opposition for its "misconduct" and "undignified" behaviour against Harivansh.
Harivansh is a respected person in Bihar and across the country and this incident has hurt the state's pride, he said.
Speaking at a press conference, Union minister and BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said, "An eminent Indian who hails from Bihar was insulted. People of Bihar will give reply to this. Opposition parties from Bihar will have to answer this. People of Bihar are very hurt."
The Rajya Sabha deputy chairperson is a JD(U) MP from Bihar and hails from the Rajput community, like the late actor.
The caste identify has been a strong poll factor in Bihar.
Backing the farm bills, Kumar said his government did away with the agriculture produce market committees in 2006 and noted that opposition parties like the RJD had then created a ruckus in a similar way and "ran away" from a debate.
It has benefitted farmers in Bihar and now it will benefit them across the country, he said.
Referring to the middlemen, Kumar said a section of people involved in the trading of agriculture produce benefitted from the existing order but the new changes will benefit the farming community.
Two key farm bills, dubbed as the biggest reform in the agriculture sector, were passed by Rajya Sabha with a voice vote amid unprecedented unruly scenes by opposition members on Sunday.
Some opposition members, ignoring the COVID-19 protocol, charged towards the podium of Deputy Chairman Harivansh, flung the rule book at him and tore official papers.
They yanked his microphone and heckled him for a division of votes on their motion to refer the legislation to a select committee.