Bharatiya Janata Party leader and Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya on Sunday claimed that voting for his party is akin to dropping a nuclear bomb on Pakistan, ANI reported. Maurya was campaigning for BJP candidate Narendra Mehta in Thane’s Mira Bhayandar constituency.

“If people press the lotus symbol, it will mean a nuclear bomb has been automatically dropped on Pakistan,” Maurya said. “Kindly vote for BJP and make our party win once again in Maharashtra state. I believe lotus will definitely bloom in the upcoming elections.”

Maharashtra will go to the polls on October 21 and the results will be out on October 24.

Maurya also criticised the Opposition parties and said, “Goddess Lakshmi doesn’t sit on a palm, bicycle or watch, rather she sits on a lotus.” He was referring to the symbols of the Congress, the Samajwadi Party and the Nationalist Congress Party.

He added: “Article 370 was abrogated because of the flower lotus. Lotus is the symbol of development.”

Ties between India and Pakistan have been strained since India revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special constitutional status on August 5. Pakistan has attempted to internationalise the dispute, downgraded diplomatic ties with New Delhi and suspended bilateral trade. India has maintained that it is an internal issue.

The matter has been a strong talking point for both the ruling BJP and the opposition parties in the run up to the Assembly elections in Maharashtra and Haryana.