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Lucknow, Nov 17: While campaigning for his wife Shashi in the upcoming Uttar Pradesh local elections 2017, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Ranjeet Kumar Srivastava on Monday (November 13) warned Muslims that if they do not vote for the party, they will distance themselves from the party and will then have to “face difficulties”. A report by Indian Express said that two ministers in the chief minister Yogi Adityanath‘s cabinet, Dara Singh Chauhan and Ramapati Shastri, were also present when Srivastava made the remarks. The alleged warning speech, made in Nawabganj, came to the notice when a video of it was circulated on social media.
“Samajwadi ki sarkar nahi hai. Yahan par tum jaa kar ke DM, SP se apna kaam nahi kara sakte ho. Yahan par tumhara koi neta tumhari koi madad nahi kar sakta hai. Sadak, khadanja, naali nagar palika ka kaam hai. Doosri bhi kuch museebatein tumhare upar aa sakti hain. Aaj tumhara koi pairokar BJP ke andar nahi hai (This is not the Samajwadi Party’s government. You can’t get your work done just by foing to a DM or SP. Here, none of your leaders can help you. Roads and drains are the work of the municipal board. You may face some other difficulties as well. Today, you don’t have an advocate in the BJP party),” he said in a speech, as per Indian Express.
Srivastava continued the speech saying that if the people do not get the BJP’s corporators elected without any discrimination and if they didn’t vote for Ranjeet Kumar’s wife, who is contesting in the elections, then the distance from the BJP party will not save the people. “Agar Ranjeet Sahab ki patni ko tumne vote de kar ke chunav nahi jitay toh yeh doori jo tum banane ja rahe ho, ab agar yeh doori banegi to tumko Samajwadi Party bachane nahi aayegi,” he said, adding, “BJP ka shashankaal hai. Jo kasht tumko nahi jhelne pade the, woh kasht tumko uthane pad sakte hain (This is the reign of BJP. You may have to face some difficulties that you didn’t face earlier).”
“That’s why I am telling Muslims to vote for us. I am not begging. If you vote (for BJP), you will be happier. If you don’t cast vote for us, difficulties will become obvious to you (Isliye, main Mussalmano se keh raha hun, vote de dena. Bheekh nahi maang raha hun. Agar vote doge, to sukhi rahoge. Agar vote nahin doge, to jo kasht jheloge uska andaza tumko swatah lag jayega),” Srivastava said.
Defending Ranjeet Srivastava, his spokesperson said that the BJP leader meant that the Muslims didn’t vote for him in 2012 civic polls but he still worked for them. “He was appealing to them that since the BJP is in power in the state, if a non-BJP candidate wins, the elected chairperson may not be able to get their work done,” he added.
Minister in charge of Barabanki district Dara Singh Chauhan later said that one should refrain from making such remarks. “The BJP believes in sabka saath-sabka vikas,” Chauhan said.
As many as 652 urban local bodies across the state are going to polls on November 22, November 26 and November 29. The votes for UP civic polls will be counted on December 1.