India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Member of Parliament from Uttar Pradesh Suresh Tiwari has kicked up a row after he asked people not to buy vegetables from Muslim vendors, prompting the party to issue him a show-cause notice on Tuesday, Financial Express reported.
The legislator from Barhaj constituency in Deoria district was seen in a video clip telling people: “I am saying this openly; don’t purchase vegetables from Muslims.”
When asked about his remark, Tiwari said, “On April 17th or 18th, I was distributing masks and sanitizers among the people. When I reached the boundary of the Nagar Palika, around 17-18 people came to me and started complaining against Tablighi Jamaat members creating chaos and spreading coronavirus and also contaminating vegetables with their saliva.”
“I told them not to fight with them or take law into their own hands, but simply to stop purchasing from them,” he said.
“There are many Muslim vendors in Barhaj too and I only advised people not to purchase from them to be saved from the deadly virus,” the MP added.
Reportedly, BJP’s central leadership found Tiwari’s remarks “highly irresponsible” and its national president J. P. Nadda “pulled up” the state brass for not taking quick action.
Issuing the show-cause notice, the BJP asked Tiwari to send his reply within a week.
The conduct of the MLA is against the party’s policy, BJP’s UP media in-charge Manish Dixit said in a statement.