Lucknow: A BJP lawmaker in Uttar Pradesh has been caught in a shocking rant targeting Muslims in a phone conversation with an electricity official, whom he asks "why no action has been taken against Muslims for power theft".
- Sanjay Gupta threatened a government engineer on phone
- "How many Muslims you have acted against?" the lawmaker asked
- The call with the lawmaker was recorded by engineer Avinash Singh
Sanjay Gupta, the ruling party's lawmaker from the Kaushambi district, is heard threatening the government engineer and demanding an account of how many Muslims he had taken action against. The call was recorded by the engineer, Avinash Singh, and has been widely shared and circulated.
"Give me data from April 1, how many Muslims you have acted against. Getting yourself transferred will not save you - wherever you are in Uttar Pradesh, I will have an investigation done. Go to a Muslim locality, see how electricity theft happens," shouts Mr Gupta as the engineer is heard interjecting calmly.
"To hell with you and your department. I will speak to Lucknow. Only Hindus are being harassed. You are harassing businessmen and Hindus on purpose," the legislator rages.
The phone call was made on June 15 after a series of raids by the department on businessmen suspected of electricity theft. Seven FIRs (First Information Reports) were filed after the raids.
Mr Gupta owned up to the phone call, saying he was raising a "genuine grievance" based on figures available with him. "What I said to officials was that it's good that you go to houses of Hindus, but you should also go to houses of Muslims. It's based on latest data provided to me," he claimed.
The politician was heard telling engineers at the electricity board office: "I only said you should not act only against one side. Whether it is a Hindu, Muslim, Sikh or Christian, if you act only against one community, do you think my people will leave me alone?"
The BJP government led by priest-politician Yogi Adityanath came to power in Uttar Pradesh after a massive victory in state elections last year.