Shailesh Sotta, BJP's candidate from Dabhoi, sparked controversy on Wednesday when he made caustic communal remarks as he was addressing people in his constituency.
Sotta said that those who "raise voice against Hindus" will "face consequences". He added that he was "here to instil fear in Muslims".
"I am ready to fight for the country I was born in. For 90 percent of the majority, I will fight. The 10 percent of people must not raise their voice," he said.
#BREAKING -- BJP leader Shailesh Sotta's hate rant caught on camera. Says "raise voice against Hindus and face consequences". The leader also goes on to say that he "will instil fear in Muslims" pic.twitter.com/ssgfmVahPh
— News18 (@CNNnews18) December 7, 2017
According to Times Now, Sotta also said that those "sporting a beard and a topi must not raise their voice and eyes".
Reacting to Sotta's communal remarks, Congress national spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi told CNN-News18 that this was just one of BJP's attempts to divert attention from real issues.
"But the people of Gujarat are very clear about what they are going to vote on," Chaturvedi told the news channel.
Sotta made his remarks a day before the high-octane campaign for the first phase of the crucial Gujarat Assembly polls come to an end.
A total of 89 seats — out of 182 — spanning the Saurashtra and South Gujarat regions, are up for grabs in the first phase with 977 candidates in the fray, including Chief Minister Vijay Rupani. Voting will be held on 9 December.
While the BJP is fighting anti-incumbency and struggling to alter a seemingly negative perception about demonetisation and the Goods and Services Tax (GST) rollout, the Congress, galvanised by an assertive Rahul Gandhi, has mainly targeted the "hollow Gujarat development model" to slam Modi.
Modi and Gandhi had aggressively led their parties campaigns in Saurashtra and south Gujarat which often turned personal.
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Updated Date: Dec 07, 2017 12:59:45 IST