Bharatiya Janata Party leader MP Nishikant Dubey has said that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and Christian missionaries should work in tandem to “save tribals from love and land jihad from Bangladeshi infiltrators” in Jharkhand, reported The Indian Express on Tuesday.

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh is the ideological parent of the ruling BJP.

“Love jihad” is a Hindutva conspiracy theory that Muslim men lure Hindu women into romantic relationships in order to convert them to Islam. “Land jihad” is also an anti-Muslim conspiracy theory peddled by Hindutva groups.

In an interview with The Indian Express, Dubey, whom the BJP has retained as its candidate from Jharkhand’s Godda Lok Sabha constituency, said: “Like the prime minister, I am also of the view that the demography of the area has changed.”

Polling for the Godda seat will take place in the seventh and final phase of the Lok Sabha elections on Saturday.

“The Adivasi population has decreased by 11% across the state – the most in Santhal Parganas – while the Bangladeshi Muslim population has seen a rise as the family of Alamgir Alam [Jharkhand rural development minister who was recently arrested by the Enforcement Directorate] is giving them citizenship,” said Dubey.

The Modi government has repeatedly said in Parliament that it has no data on the number of undocumented immigrants in the country. In December, the government told the Supreme Court that it was not possible to collect data on undocumented immigrants living in various parts of the country.

Dubey was repeating a claim made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier in the day at an election rally in Dumka Lok Sabha constituency, which also heads to the polls on Saturday.

Modi claimed: “A big crisis looms over Jharkhand and that is infiltration. The Santhal Parganas is facing the challenge of infiltration. In many areas, the population of tribals is declining fast and the number of infiltrators is on the rise. The infiltrators are grabbing tribal lands. Tribal daughters are the target of infiltrators. Their security and safety are at risk. Their lives are also at risk.”

This is not the first time that the BJP made such claims about undocumented Bangladeshi immigrants.

In December, Dubey had claimed in Parliament that the demography of several parts of Jharkhand, Bihar and West Bengal was changing due to a rise in the number of “Bangladeshi infiltrators”, reported The Times of India.

The Jharkhand High Court in April had sought a detailed response from the Centre and state governments regarding the alleged forced religious conversion of Adivasis in the state.