Suresh Tewari who is a BJP MLA from Barhaj constituency in Deoria district was on Tuesday seen during a video clip, telling people to not buy vegetables from Muslim vendors.
The clip has now been widely shared on social media, triggering an issue.
The MLA was seen in the video clip often saying that he was openly telling everybody not to purchase vegetables from Muslims.
Asked about his remark over the phone, Mr. Tewari said that on April 17 or 18 he was distributing masks and sanitizers among the people and when he reached the boundary of the Nagar Palika, approximately seventeen to eighteen people came to him and began complaining against Tablighi people that they were making chaos and were spreading coronavirus and also contaminating vegetables with their saliva.
He was telling everybody openly, to keep one thing in mind(Ek cheez dhayan mein rakhiyega), to not to buy vegetables from Muslims(main bol raha hoon openly, koi bhi miyan ke hathon sabzi nahi lega).
“I told them to not have a fight with them or take the law into own hands, but simply to prevent purchasing from them,” he said.
“There are many Muslim vendors in Barhaj too and that I only advised people to not purchase from them to be saved from the deadly virus,” the MLA added.
BJP issued a notice to the MLA after his comment was backlashed by civil society.
Meanwhile, UP BJP spokesperson Chandra Mohan said the party would check out the circumstances during which the MLA issued such a statement.
“At this moment, it’s the responsibility of all to act responsibly and add a fashion which inspires unity,” he said.
J.P. Nadda who is a BJP national president said that the statement given by MLA was irresponsible and the party will not tolerate such statements. He also requested other BJP legislators not to make such comments in the future. Nadda directed the Uttar Pradesh unit of the BJP to take due action against the MLA.
Aside from communalizing the COVID-19 pandemic, many right-wing handles have also been raising fake videos on social media platforms attacking the Muslims for contaminating food to spread the virus.