A local Bharatiya Janata Party leader in Uttar Pradesh has warned Muslims to vote for his wife or face difficulties. Ranjeet Kumar Srivastava made the statement on Monday while campaigning for his wife Shashi, who is contesting the civic elections in Barabanki district, The Indian Express reported on Friday.
A video of his speech is being circulated on social media. Two ministers in Chief Minister Adityanath’s Cabinet – Dara Singh Chauhan and Ramapati Shastri – were on stage with Srivastava when he made the statement.
“Today, you don’t have any advocates inside the BJP,” he was quoted as saying. “If you do not, without any discrimination, get our corporators elected...if you do not vote for Ranjeet sahab’s wife and get her elected...then you will distance yourselves and the Samajwadi Party won’t come to your rescue. This is the BJP’s reign. You may have to face difficulties you did not have to undergo earlier.”
Srivastava, the outgoing chairperson of the Nawabganj Nagar Palika, later tried to clarify that he did not threaten Muslims but was only trying to convince them to vote for the BJP, according to CNN-News18. “I was just trying to make them understand that there is a huge difference between Hindus and Muslims, and these differences should come to an end,” he said, adding seconds later, “If someone thinks that I am threatening, I am ready to threaten a thousand times more.”