Leaders threatening people to vote for their candidates during election campaigns isn’t new to Indian politics. And in a state like Uttar Pradesh where caste and religion are a decisive factor, such threats can spew communal hatred.

A BJP councilor campaigning for his wife in Uttar Pradesh warned Muslims to vote for his party failing which they may face ‘difficulties’.  At a public meeting in Nawabganj area on November 13, Ranjeet Kumar Srivastava made the statements in the presence of two state ministers, Dara Singh Chauhan and Ramapati Shastri. 

The video of the incident is now being shared on social media, reports Indian Express.

The leader told public that the incumbent government is not of Samajwadi Party which is why neither any district magistrate nor any superintendent of police would come to their help.  He also said that they will also face municipal problems on matters about roads, lanes and sewers. 

“Aaj tumhara koi pairokar BJP ke andar nahi hai. Agar hamare sabhasadon ko tumne bagair bhedbhao ke chunav nahin jitaya… Agar Ranjeet Sahab ki patni ko tumne vote de kar ke chunav nahi jitaya… To yeh doori jo tum banane ja rahe ho, ab agar yeh doori banegi to tumko Samajwadi Party bachane nahi aayegi. BJP ka shashankaal hai. Jo kasht tumko nahi jhelne pade the, woh kasht tumko uthane pad sakte hain,” said Srivastava. 

(”Today, you don’t have any advocates inside the BJP. If you do not, without any discrimination, get our corporators elected… If you do not vote for Ranjeet Sahab’s wife and get her elected… then you will distance yourselves and Samajwadi Party won’t come to your rescue. This is the BJP’s reign. You may have to face the difficulties which you did not have to undergo earlier)”, he said.

He also maintained that he isn’t begging Muslims but warning them that if they vote for Muslims, they will be better off. Otherwise, difficulties will be obvious to them, he added.

Srivastava’s aide came out in his support and said that he only asked for Muslims’ support. He also defended the statements by saying that Srivastava has worked for Muslims despite them not voting for him.

However, Dara Singh Chauhan, who is the minister in charge of Barabanki district, disassociated himself with the statements and said that his party will take action against it, report NDTV.