A Bharatiya Janata Party MLA from Uttar Pradesh’s Domariyaganj has said that Hindus who do not vote for him in the Assembly elections have “Muslim blood in their veins”, a video widely shared on social media on Monday showed.
Addressing people in Domariyaganj, reportedly on February 19, Raghvendra Pratap Singh said, “In this village if any Hindu votes for others, then he has blood of Miya [a pejorative for Muslims] in his veins. He’s a traitor. He is a bastard son of Jai Chand. He is an illegitimate child of his father.”
Singh, who is also in charge of Hindutva organisation Hindu Yuva Vahin, warned that he would “destroy” those who insulted members of his community.
“Even after so many atrocities, if a Hindu goes over to the other side, he should not be allowed to show his face in public,” Singh can be heard saying in the video. “I didn’t say much. I thought I’ll be a minister for five years and then see. But even after being warned once if you do not understand, then I will show you who Raghavendra Singh is.”
Men surrounding him then shout slogans of “Jai Shri Ram” to support the Domariyaganj MLA, who is again contesting polls from his constituency on March 3. In the 2017 elections, Singh had the lowest margin of victory with 171 votes in Domariyaganj.
After social media users criticised his comments and asked the Election Commission to take note of it, Singh told The Indian Express that he made the remarks “in another context” and “as an example”.
He claimed he had no intention to warn anyone. “Can anybody win an election by threatening in Domariyaganj where there are around 1.73 lakh Muslim voters, comprising around 39.8% of the electorate?” the legislator asked.
On Monday, the Siddharthnagar Police in Uttar Pradesh in a tweet said they have taken cognisance of the videos and asked the inspector-in-charge of Domariyaganj to register a case.
An first information report under Indian Penal Code Sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony), 295A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs), 505(2) (statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill-will between classes) and 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) has been filed at the Domariyaganj police station, The Wire reported.