Gorakhpur: Controversial BJP Member of Parliament Yogi Adityanath, who is one of the party's key campaigners for the by-elections in Uttar Pradesh, has yet again sparked a controversy, this time with his comments that seem to blame Muslims for communal violence in the country.
Talking to a private TV channel yesterday, he suggested that there is no place for non-Muslims in areas which have more than 40 per cent Muslim population.
"In places where there are 10 to 20 per cent minorities, stray communal incidents take place. Where there are 20 to 40 per cent of them, serious communal riots take place and where they are more than 40 per cent, there is no place for non-Muslims," he reportedly said.
When asked about the row over his comments today, he remained defiant and reiterated, "From the trends seen in the country, it is clear that there are communal incidents in places with 10-20 per cent Muslim population. Places with 20- 40 per cent Muslim population see heavy communal violence. And there is no place for non-Muslims in places with more than 40 per cent Muslim population".
The Congress has called his comments "unfortunate statements aimed at spreading hatred." "I think he didn't have any idea about what he was saying. In India, Hindus and Muslims have confidence on each other," Congress' Salman Khurshid said.
Naresh Agarwal, from the ruling Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh, hit back saying, "I don't understand this logic. Riots are only happening in places where the BJP is not in power. Riots are riots, they don't have a caste or a religion."
Yogi Adityanath has been caught in the middle of a political storm after an undated video purportedly showing him making an incendiary speech surfaced. In the video he purportedly vows that for "every Hindu converted, 100 Muslim girls will be converted as retaliation," among other provocative comments.
The lawmaker, who recently opened a debate in Parliament on communal violence for his party, has described the video as a "cut and paste" job.