LUCKNOW: BJP MLA Suresh Rana was booked for hate speech by the UP Police on Monday. He had said curfew would be imposed in Kairana, Deoband and Moradabad if he was elected again in the Assembly polls next month.
The remarks evoked widespread condemnation from the BJP’s political rivals in the state.
Suresh Rana, an accused in the Muzaffarnagar communal riots of 2013 and now the BJP candidate for the Thana Bhawan seat in Shamli district, made the remarks at a gathering in his constituency on Saturday.
Rana clarified that his remarks were directed at goons and extortionists who spread terror and triggered an exodus of Hindus from Kairana.
"I did not make any remark against any religion. I only said that if I win and the BJP comes to power in the state, then those hooligans who forced other people to migrate from Kairana, Deoband and Moradabad will themselves have to migrate," Rana said in his clarification.
The BJP candidate also said people were migrating from western Uttar Pradesh due to fear of hooligans and extortion. “There is hardly any area left in this region where migration has not taken place. So I meant to say that if the BJP comes to power in UP, then these goons, extortionists will migrate and not innocent people," Rana said.
Rana was also reported to have said in the speech that if he was defeated there would be celebrations in Muslim-majority areas like Deoband and Moradabad.
The Congress raised Rana’s remarks with the Election Commission, alleging a violation of the model code of conduct.
Rana’s constituency, Thana Bhawan will go to the polls in the first phase of the election on February 11.