Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Sangeet Som on Tuesday claimed that some Muslims in India did not trust the country’s scientists, adding they should go to Pakistan, Times Now reported. He made the remark in response to a question about some groups opposing India’s coronavirus vaccines.

“Unfortunately, some Muslims do not trust the country or its scientists,” Som said in response to a question about certain groups claiming that the vaccines contained pig fat. “They don’t trust the country’s police and the prime minister.”

He added: “Their faith lies with Pakistan. They should go to that country and not question the ability of the scientists in India.”

Som’s remarks came amid the preparations for India’s massive inoculation drive, which is scheduled to begin on January 16. On Wednesday, Bharat Biotech dispatched the first batches of its coronavirus vaccine, Covaxin, to Delhi and 10 other cities. This came a day after the Serum Institute of India sent the first batches of its Covishield vaccine to 13 locations across the country.

The Centre is planning to inoculate 30 crore people in the first phase of the vaccination drive. Health professionals and frontline workers will get the vaccine for free. After them, people above the age of 50 and those with comorbidities will be vaccinated.

Som, an MLA from Uttar Pradesh, has made several controversial statements in the past too. He had recently said that the people protesting against the Centre agricultural laws were “anti-farmer”, according to PTI. In 2017, he said that the Taj Mahal was built by traitors and was a “blot on Indian culture”.

The MLA had also been booked in connection with the communal riots that broke out in Muzaffarnagar and Shamli in 2013, along with his party colleagues Suresh Rana and Kapil Dev. In December, the Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government had moved an application to withdraw cases against them.