Bengaluru: In a potentially controversial remark, a BJP candidate for the Karnataka Assembly elections has said the electoral contest in the state was "not about roads and drinking water but Hindu and Muslim religions".
Sanjay Patil, Belagavi (Rural) MLA and BJP candidate, is seen making the purported remarks in a video shot in his constituency amid loud cheers by a crowd of his supporters. It was not immediately known when the video, which went viral on Thursday, was shot.
"This election is not about road, drainage or drinking water. This election is about Hindu and Muslim religions," he told the crowd.
"Keeping a hand on my chest I say loudly, this is Bharat, this is the country of Hindus, and this is the country where (Lord) Ram was born. We are prepared to do anything to construct Ram mandir in Ayodhya," Patil purportedly said in the footage.
Patil also told the crowd, which lapped up every word he said, that the Congress favoured constructing a mosque in Ayodhya instead of a Ram temple.
"Let Laxmi Hebbalkar speak about constructing Ram mandir, you all vote for her, but she can't say it, as she is among those who will construct a masjid, Babri masjid," he said, insisting the 12 May polls were "very important."
Hebbalkar, the Karnataka Mahila Congress chief, is pitted against Patil from Belagavi (Rural) constituency.
"(Those) Who want to construct Babri Masjid, who want to celebrate Tipu Sultan's jayanti, let them vote for Congress."
"If you want Shivaji Maharaj, if you want Sambhaji Maharaj, if you want those who offer pooja at Lakshmi temple, you will have to vote for BJP," he added.
Belagavi (Belgaum) on Karnataka-Maharashtra border is a communally sensitive area with significant presence of Muslims and Marathi speaking Hindus.
Updated Date: Apr 19, 2018 20:35:12 IST