Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's reference to "Ali" and "Bajrang Bali", made during last year's assembly elections, had triggered outrage on social media platforms. On Tuesday, he made the reference again in election meetings in the state. The target this time was Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati, who recently urged the Muslim community not to divide their votes between the Congress and her alliance.
While Ali is revered by Muslims as Prophet Mohammad's successor, Bajrang Bali is another name for the Hindu god Hanuman.
"If the Congress, the SP and the BSP have faith in Ali, then we too have faith in Bajrang Bali," the BJP leader said at an election meeting in Meerut.
Yogi Adityanath said the Hindus in the state had no option but to vote for the BJP.
The poll authorities in Uttar Pradesh have sent a factual report to the Election Commission (EC) in Delhi on the remarks made by Mayawati.
The BJP leader said Dalit-Muslim unity is impossible, and in Bareilly, he accused Mayawati of hurting Dalit sentiments with her call to Muslim voters at a rally in Saharanpur's Deoband.
"Mayawati urges Muslims to vote for the coalition and not to split their vote. Now the Hindus have no option but to vote for the BJP," he said.
"If the Congress, the SP and the BSP have faith in Ali, then we too have faith in Bajrang Bali. The opposition has acknowledged that the followers of Bajrang Bali will not vote for them," he added.
Yogi Adityanath on Saturday alleged that the Congress has entered into an "unholy alliance" with the Muslim League which was evident from the green flags seen when Rahul Gandhi went to file nomination in a procession from Wayanad Lok Sabha seat in Kerala. He repeated the comment, saying people wanted to ruin the country.
"The coalition is shouting ''Ali-Ali'' on the stage at their rallies. 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," he said on Tuesday. .
Yogi Adityanath was reprimanded sharply by the Election Commission on last week, days after he referred to the Indian Army as "Modiji ki Sena", or Prime Minister Narendra Modi's army, at an election rally in Uttar Pradesh. "Be careful in your utterances in the future," news agency PTI quoted the poll body as saying.
With inputs from PTI