Bharatiya Janata Party MP Ramesh Bidhuri on Tuesday skipped a meeting of the Lok Sabha privileges committee investigating his communal tirade against Bahujan Samaj Party leader Kunwar Danish Ali in Parliament, reported The Indian Express.

The Lok Sabha secretariat in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, said that Bidhuri provided oral evidence to the panel in connection with allegations of breach of privilege in the Lower House.

During a debate on the success of India’s Chandrayaan-3 lunar mission on September 21, Bidhuri had called Ali “mullah terrorist”, “pimp” and “katwa”, a slur used for circumcised Muslims.

Several Opposition parties sought action against the BJP MP from South Delhi, saying that his remarks amount to hate speech.

The parties demanded that Bidhuri must be suspended from Parliament till the privileges committee completes its investigations.

Bidhuri was also warned of strict action by Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla if he repeated such behaviour.

The complaints against him were referred to the privileges committee on September 28.

Bidhuri reportedly wrote to the chairperson of the panel, explaining his inability to attend Tuesday’s meeting.

He is currently in Rajasthan’s Tonk district, campaigning for the state Assembly elections scheduled for November 23. The BJP last month appointed him its poll in-charge for the district.

“I was supposed to be in Rajasthan for a three-day pravas [stay] starting the ninth till the 11th as per a pre-scheduled commitment and I am here for that,” Bidhuri told The Indian Express.

The BJP leader said that he would be present for the next meeting, when the committee is expected to evaluate the evidence from him, Ali and other Opposition leaders. The panel will also look into complaints by BJP MP Nishikant Dubey, who alleged that Ali’s remarks about Prime Minister Narendra Modi instigated Bidhuri to use blatantly communal slurs in Parliament.

Ali had denied the allegations and said that some BJP leaders were pushing a narrative.

He had also asked the prime minister to publicly condemn Bidhuri’s use of communal slurs and sought enhanced security.