Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath on Tuesday warned All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen chief Asaduddin Owaisi against inciting protests over the Citizenship Amendment Act.

The Citizenship Amendment Act, approved by Parliament on December 11, 2019, provides citizenship to refugees from six minority religious communities from Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, on the condition that they have lived in India for six years and entered the country by December 31, 2014.

The Act has been widely criticised for excluding Muslims. It sparked massive protests across the country.

On Sunday, Owaisi during a meeting in Uttar Pradesh’s Barabanki had said that like the government had repealed the farm laws, it should retract the Citizenship Amendment Act, The Indian Express reported. He had said that protesters will hit the streets if the law was not struck down.

On Tuesday, Adityanath while addressing a booth workers’ meeting in Kanpur threatened to take strict action against Owaisi and his followers if they attempted to promote the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act. Uttar Pradesh will go to polls early next year.

“I would like to tell the followers of chacha jaan and abba jaan to listen carefully that if attempts are made to disturb the atmosphere of the state by inciting feelings [against CAA], the government will deal with it strictly,” Adityanath said.

Chacha jaan and abba jaan are terms commonly used by Muslims to address their uncles and fathers.

Adityanath’s use of the word “abba jaan” during a speech in September had led to criticism. He had claimed that only those who said “abba jaan” were getting the ration in Uttar Pradesh before 2017 when the Bharatiya Janata Party came to power.

On Tuesday, the Uttar Pradesh chief minister said that the state was free of communal riots, which he claimed took place frequently before the Bharatiya Janata Party formed the government.

“Everyone knows that Owaisi is trying to stir the sentiments of people by working as an agent of the Samajwadi Party,” Adityanath said.