The Karnataka Police have registered a case against a Bharatiya Janata Party MLA who said that the May 12 polls in the state are not about roads or drinking water but about “Hindus and Muslims”, The News Minute reported on Friday. A video in which Belagavi Rural legislator Sanjay Patil made the comment had gone viral on social media. Police said the video was shot on Sunday.
“Keeping a hand on my chest, I say loudly, this is Bharat, this is the country of Hindus, and this is the country where Ram was born,” Patil said, drawing loud cheers. “We are prepared to do anything to construct the Ram temple in Ayodhya. This election is not about road, drainage or drinking water. This election is about Hindu and Muslim religions.”
After a complaint from an Election Commission official, police filed a case against Patil under Sections 153A (promoting enmity between two groups) and 295A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 125 (promoting enmity between groups in connection to an election) of the Representation of the People Act.
Patil is the BJP’s candidate in Belagavi Rural constituency.
Patil also claimed that the Congress favoured building a mosque in Ayodhya instead of a Ram temple. “Let Laxmi Hebbalkar speak about constructing Ram mandir, you all vote for her,” he said, referring to his Congress opponent. “But she can’t say it, as she is among those who will construct a masjid, Babri Masjid.”
He further said: “If you want Shivaji Maharaj, if you want Sambhaji Maharaj, if you want those who offer pooja at Lakshmi temple, you will have to vote for BJP.”