Patna: An FIR has been lodged against Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu for his remarks at a rally in the state. The action followed Sidhu’s speech warning members of the Muslim community that there were efforts to divide their votes.

Bihar Chief Electoral Officer H R Srinivasa said, “An FIR has been lodged against Sidhu under a section of Indian Penal Code and section 123 (3) of the Representation of the People Act.”

Section 123 (3) bars promotion of, or attempt to promote, feelings of enmity or hatred between different classes of the citizens of India on grounds of religion, race, caste, community, or language, by a candidate or his agent or any other person.

In Katihar for an election rally, Sidhu had urged Muslims to vote en bloc and defeat Prime Minister Narendra Modi while canvassing for veteran Congress leader and former union minister Tariq Anwar.

“Do not consider yourself as being in a minority. You constitute the majority here. You are about 64 per cent. Do not fall into the trap laid down by people like Owaisi (president of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen). They have been propped up by the BJP,” Sidhu had reportedly said at a rally held at Barasol, in Balrampur assembly segment falling under the Katihar Lok Sabha seat in Bihar.

Meanwhile, at a press meeting in New Delhi, BJP played a video of Sidhu’s speech and Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, “It is part of the Congress’ DNA to divide. It is not a new norm in this party.”