BJP leader promises to make Muslims wear 'tilak' not skull caps if he is electedtext_fields
Lucknow: A BJP leader in Uttar Pradesh has gone viral for a controversial speech made in the middle of assembly elections, in which he promised to make Muslims switch to wearing the Hindu 'tilak' from skull cap if he was elected.
Raghvendra Singh, contesting from Domariyaganj, can be seen making the promise in a viral video and is the in-charge of the Hindu Yuva Vahini, a rightwing group founded by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. In 2017, he won from the Domariyaganj seat by some 200 votes.
A police case has been registered against him for the offensive remarks according to UP police officials.
"When there were Islamic terrorists here, Hindus were forced to wear gol topis (skull caps). I said 'conditional'. I am ready to sacrifice anything for Hindu pride. I meant that if Muslims are trying everything, they can to defeat me, I will not stay silent," Raghvendra Singh said in a video.
He can be seen saying that if he is re-elected as MLA, the "miyaan-log" (Muslims) will be forced to wear tilak just as Hindus were supposedly made to wear Muslim attire.
"For the first time, so many Hindus are contesting from the constituency. Will there be 'salaam' in Domariyaganj or 'Jai Shri Ram'?" he asked. Following backlash for his comments, which many online perceived as communal and divisive in nature, the BJP leader doubled down on them, stating that he made the "conditional speech" in response to rising "Islamic terrorism" according to NDTV.
Voting is underway in all assembly seats in Goa and Uttarakhand, besides 55 constituencies in Uttar Pradesh in the second phase of the state polls. Tight security arrangements were in place in the politically crucial state of Uttar Pradesh where 586 candidates are contesting in this phase from 55 seats spread across the districts of Saharanpur, Bijnor, Moradabad, Sambhal, Rampur, Amroha, Budaun, Bareilly and Shahjahanpur.
Over 60,000 police personnel and nearly 800 companies (around 100 security personnel each) of paramilitary forces will be on duty on the election day, officials said, adding 4,917 polling booths out of 12,538 are considered "critical"