Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath on Tuesday compared the upcoming elections to a contest between Ali, a revered figure in Islam, and Bajrang Bali, the Hindu god Hanuman. He also suggested that the Bharatiya Janata Party will win the elections as it has faith in Bajrang Bali.
“Agar Congress, Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party ko Ali par vishwas hai, toh humein Bajrang Bali par vishwas hai [If the Congress, Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party have faith in Ali, we have faith in Hanuman],” Adityanath said at a rally in Meerut.
“Mayawati urges Muslims to vote for the coalition, and not split their vote,” Adityanath added, according to PTI. “Now the Hindus have no option but to vote for the BJP.”
The chief minister also labeled the Indian Union Muslim League a “green virus” and called for its elimination. “The coalition is shouting ‘Ali-Ali’ on the stage at their rallies,” Adityanath claimed. “These people want to ruin the country with the collaboration of the ‘green virus’ of Muslim League. Time has come to eliminate this virus forever.”
Adityanath claimed that the Congress, the Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party have realised that the followers of Bajrang Bali will not vote for them.
However, BJP spokesperson Anila Singh defended the chief minister. “He has not said anything wrong,” Singh told Times Now about Adityanath’s “Ali-Bajrang Bali” remark. “He has simply quoted Mayawati appealing to one particular community to vote for the alliance. In Uttar Pradesh, people from all religions, castes and communities live. He is the chief minister and he is working for everybody. He is not doing appeasement politics.”
Adityanath had last week referred to the Indian Army as “Modiji ki Sena”, prompting the Election Commission to issue him a notice asking him to be careful about his remarks in future. He has also made several other controversial comments, many referring to religion, including calling the Indian Muslim League a “virus” that had divided the country during the independence movement.