In an apparent attack on the Muslim community, controversial BJP leader and former MLA Sangeet Som has said Rajputs need to take up arms again.
Mr Som, who was a BJP MLA from Sardhana constituency, made the remark during a 'Shastra Puja' (worship of weapons) programme organised by the Rajput Utthan Sabha on Vijaya Dashami in Kheda village in Uttar Pradesh's Meerut on Wednesday.
"The way the population of a particular community is increasing, terrorism is increasing, there are talks of separatism, talks of beheading. To end all of this, along with power, weapons will also be needed in the future," Mr Som said in his address.
"The Rajput society will have to take up arms again," he added.
An accused in the Muzaffarnagar riots, the BJP leader said to ensure the progress of a religion, sacrifice, penance and dedication are needed.
Mr Som said the way anti-national forces are attacking the country, the importance of weapons has increased.
Taking a dig at the Congress' 'Bharat Jodo Yatra', Mr Som alleged that "green flags" were visible in the march in Kerala but not the national flag.
"The day is not far off when green flags will be visible across western Uttar Pradesh, so act wisely," he said.
Mr Som also alleged that efforts were being made to malign Rajputs, including their "wrong" depiction in films.
"The truth is that Lord Ram and Krishna had to take birth as Rajputs to come on earth," he said.
Mr Som was BJP MLA from Sardhana from 2012 to 2022. He lost to Samajwadi Party candidate Atul Pradhan in the assembly elections held earlier this year.
He was accused of playing a role in the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots and was also arrested.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)