Bharatiya Janata Party MP Tejasvi Surya has said that Hindus must vote for parties that can “exclusively protect” them, The Guardian reported on Friday.

He also said that the conquest of India by Muslim rulers was “the bloodiest chapter in the history of the world”.

Surya made the remarks during a private event in Australia’s Parramatta city. He is in Australia to participate in a series of events including the Australia-India Youth Dialogue.

“I want to put one specific thought in all of your minds, we know the history of this particular community from the time of its existence, and its history has been writ large with bloodshed and violence,” Surya said, according to The Guardian.

The private event was organised after a public interaction between Surya and students of the city’s ECA College was cancelled after a protest from the Swinburne Islamic Society.

Several Muslim student associations, religious and advocacy groups and academicians from Australia have protested against Surya’s visit.

“We believe that allowing Surya to speak at our [Australian] universities is a step toward encouraging and allowing hate speech and Islamophobia,” said Junaid Ahmed, a representative of the coalition of 25 Muslim Student associations in Australia.

He added, “Such hate speech promotes Islamophobia and facilitates violent extremism.”

An online petition to Australia’s Department of Home Affairs has also asked the government to revoke Surya’s visa. The petition has received 6,841 signatures.