Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath Thursday stoked a controversy by making a veiled attack against former Congress president Sonia Gandhi, saying "agents from Italy" facilitated religious conversions of local tribals when the party was in power in the state.
Addressing a campaign rally for the second phase of Assembly polls in Chhattisgarh, Mr Adityanath said, "Italy se ayatit saudagar" (agents imported from Italy), undertook "anti-national" activities like conversion of tribals in the state.
His "Italy se ayatit saudagar" remark was a veiled reference to the origins of Sonia Gandhi.
Attacking Congress for appeasement of "minorities", Mr Adityanath said the "anti-national activity of religious conversion" reached its peak when the party ruled the state.
"Anti-national activities were at its peak. Dilip Singh Judeo (late BJP MP) took this menace head on and stopped Jashpur from becoming another Bastar," Mr Adityanath said.
"The Hindu society offers milk even to snakes despite knowing that it might bite later. Hindu is the greatest society of the world because we always believes in sacrifices. We Hindus never believe in forced conversion like others. We need to establish a government that can establish a Ram Rajya in Chattisgarh," he said.
"There were no roads, education, electricity and ration for the poor but 'Italy se ayatit saudagar' were indulging in religious conversions, which Judeo foiled," he said.
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