The Bharatiya Janata Party should have given tickets to Muslims for the ongoing Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Wednesday. In an interview with Times Now, Singh said the BJP did not discriminate on the basis of “caste, creed or religion”, and that the party issued tickets “based on the winnability of a candidate”.

“Candidates from minority sections have got tickets in other states,” Singh said in the interview. “The party must have discussed about it. I don’t know much about it...But I believe they [Muslims] should be given tickets.” Singh added that the BJP had also issued tickets to Muslim candidates during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Voting in the fourth phase of the Uttar Pradesh elections began at 7 am on Thursday.

However, the BJP currently has no Muslims representing it in the Lok Sabha. The party had nominated seven Muslims out of 482 candidates for the 2014 polls, but all of them lost in their constituencies. The current Lok Sabha has only 23 Muslims out of 543 members, the lowest count since 1962.