Uttar Pradesh minister Anand Swarup Shukla on Tuesday claimed that Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav could convert to Islam merely to get votes of Muslims, reported PTI.

“To appease Muslims, Yadav had performed ‘namaz [prayers performed by Muslims]’ and observed ‘roza [fast]’,” Shukla told reporters. “He can also go for ‘matantaran [conversion]’ and ‘khatna [circumcision]’ to get their votes.”

Shukla, who is the state parliamentary affairs minister and a Bharatiya Janata Party leader, made the statement as he condemned Yadav’s comments on India’s freedom struggle during his speech in Hardoi district on Sunday.

“Sardar Patel, Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and [Muhammad Ali] Jinnah studied in the same institute and became barristers,” Yadav had said. “They helped [India] get freedom and never backed away from any struggle.”

On Tuesday, Shukla said that Yadav should express regret for his comments. He also alleged that Yadav was getting support from Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence, or ISI.

“Akhilesh is getting protection and advice from the ISI,” he alleged. “It is possible that he might also be getting economic support from it.”

He offered no proof for this claim.

The BJP leader also alleged that Yadav was glorifying Jinnah on the directions of the ISI. “He is issuing such statements that Pakistan and the Taliban want,” he added.

Akhilesh Yadav says he will not contest Uttar Pradesh polls next year