A Bharatiya Janata Party legislator in Uttarakhand on Saturday allegedly made controversial remarks about Muslims in his constituency, and claimed he did not need their votes, The Indian Express reported.

The BJP asked Rajkumar Thukral, who represents Rudrapur in the Assembly, to submit an explanation within a week after a video of his alleged comments was shared widely on social media.

Thukral, however, claimed that the video was doctored, and the remarks were made after riots in Rudrapur in 2011. “This is true that we had not been going to seek votes of Muslims…” The Indian Express quoted him as saying.

In the video, Thukral allegedly said that during election meetings he had asked all Muslims to leave the place. “I don’t want any votes from Muslims,” he reportedly added. “My life is an open book. I will never even drink water at any Muslim’s house. Their wives spit in the water. They spit in tea, vermicelli, roti to make Hindus impure. Till I am alive, I will not go to their door.”

He also allegedly said he never did any work for Muslims, and called them “godless sinners” who work against the country. “Till we are alive, we will not let atrocities happen to any Hindu family in Rudrapur,” he allegedly added.

State BJP President and Nainital MP Ajay Bhatt distanced himself from the alleged comments, PTI reported. “The BJP is a party which believes in the philosophy of welfare and happiness of all,” Bhatt said. The notice to Thukral was issued by BJP General Secretary Anil Goyal on Bhatt’s directive.

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