Uttar Pradesh State Chief Accused of Saying 'Muslims Ate All Rations Meant for Hindus'
06:47 GMT 13.09.2021 (Updated: 14:40 GMT 06.08.2022)
Uttar Pradesh, India's most populous state, is headed for elections early next year. The BJP-ruled state, with Hindu monk Yogi Adityanath as its chief minister, is seeking re-election to a second term in office with claims of having improved the dismal law and order situation in the state, which has a population higher than that of Brazil.
The chief of poll-bound Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath, has courted controversy over his remarks on the distribution of rations under a federal food scheme for the economically disadvantaged.
"Those who used to say "abbajaan" (Urdu word for father) digested the food of the poor before 2017. The rations meant for Srinagar went to Nepal and Bangladesh," Yogi had said on Sunday while addressing a political rally.
Yogi, who has led the state since 2017, said this while claiming that the BJP government has ensured that benefits provided under federal schemes, including the provision of free rations to the economically weak, are rolled out without any bias.
The former chief of the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir state, Omar Abdullah, while commenting on the Adityanath's statement, has blamed him for seeking re-election by claiming that "Muslims ate up all the rations meant for Hindus."
Abdullah has also claimed that the BJP has no intention of fighting any election with an agenda other than blatant sectarian side-taking and hatred, with all the venom directed towards Muslims.
On Monday, senior Congress leader and former federal minister Kapil Sibal linked the state chief's statements to a policy of "divide and rule".
The BJP garnered massive support in state elections in 2017. Opposition parties have been accusing Yogi Adityanath of fuelling social tensions in the state—where around 20% of the population is Muslim, by making controversial statements at regular intervals.