The Bharatiya Janata Party’s Uttar Pradesh chief Swatantra Dev Singh on Sunday exhorted workers from Other Backward Classes and upper castes to have tea at Dalit homes and convince them to vote on the basis of nationalism, The Indian Express reported.

“Have tea at 10-100 Dalit homes near you,” Singh said at the Vaishya Vyapati Sammelan or conference of Vaishya communities and traders, according to ANI. “Convince them that votes are not cast on the basis of caste, money or regionalism. Votes are cast in the name of nationalism.”

Earlier in the day, Singh also made a similar statement at the BJP’s OBC Samajik Pratinidhi Sammelan or social representatives’ conference. He urged them to reach out not just to people of their communities, but also to interact with Dalits and the exploited families.

“If you are offered tea there, that means your stature is okay,” the BJP leader said, according to The Indian Express. “ If he offers cashew with tea, it means your stature has grown. And if he offers lunch along with tea, then it is confirmed that the family has got associated with the BJP.”

Singh said that a BJP government has to be formed in Uttar Pradesh in 2022 for the sake of Hindu deity Ram, Amar Ujala reported. He added that the Ram temple at Ayodhya has to be built and urged party workers to work hard for these purposes.

The BJP leader claimed that goonda raj or hooliganism has ended in Uttar Pradesh under Chief Minister Adityanath’s government, and that the people of the state now feel secure.

The Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections are expected to be held in February or March 2022.