Just a day before the fifth phase of the Bihar Assembly elections, the BJP played beef politics by issuing an advertisement in local newspapers in the state criticising Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for his silence over the row.

Acting on a complaint from the Grand Alliance, the Election Commission on Wednesday promptly told political parties not to publish advertisements on Thursday, 5 October,- the last day of polling in Bihar - unless its contents are approved by it.

In a letter to the Chief Electoral Officer of Bihar, the poll panel said it had been brought to its notice that "certain advertisements of offending nature" were published in some prominent newspapers of Bihar on Wednesday, obviously referring to the BJP ads seeking to capitalise on the 'holy cow'.

The BJP advertisement had attacked Kumar, saying he remains silent even as his allies repeatedly "insult" the holy cow. The ad even had quotes by RJD leaders Lalu Prasad Yadav and Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, as well as Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.

"Mukhyamantri ji, aapke saathi harr bharatiya ki pujya gaay ka apmaan baar-baar karte rahey aur aap chup rahey! (Chief Minister, your allies repeatedly insulted the holy cow and you kept silent!)," the ad said.

"Vote bank ki rajneeti band kijiye aur jawaab dijiye, kya aap apne saathiyon ke in bayaano se sehmat hain? (Stop vote-bank politics and explain whether you agree with these statements of your allies)," it added.

The ad ends with: "Jawaab nahi to vote nahi. (No answer, no vote)."

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who has supported Nitish Kumar in the latter's political battle against the BJP, shared the picture of the advertisement on Twitter. He condemned the BJP for playing "hate politics".

"Have these ads in Bihar been given by BJP's fringe elements? Or by BJP top brass?... It is imp that BJP lose Bihar so that they know that hate politics will not work in this country. People want love n peace, not hate (sic)," he said in a series of tweets.

The Bihar elections for 243 seats started with the first phase on 12 October and will end on 5 November with the fifth phase. The fate of the BJP and the JD(U)-RJD-Congress alliance will be clear on 8 November, when counting takes place.