Suresh Tiwari (Photo Credit: NN)
BJP MLA from Barhaj constituency in Deoria district, Suresh Tewari, was on Tuesday seen in a video clip, telling people not to buy vegetables from Muslim vendors. The clip has now been widely shared on social media, triggering a controversy. "I am saying openly don't purchase vegetables from Muslims (Ek cheez dhayan mein rakhiyega, main bol raha hoon openly, koi bhi miyan ke hathon sabzi nahi lega)," the MLA can be heard saying in the clip.
Asked about his remark over the phone, Tewari said, "On April 17 or 18, 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 people making a chaos and spreading coronavirus and also contaminating vegetables with their saliva."
"I told them not to have fight with them or take the law into 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 MLA added Meanwhile, UP BJP spokesperson Chandra Mohan said the party would look into the circumstances in which the MLA issued such the statement. "At this moment, it is the responsibility of all to act responsibly and work in a manner which encourages unity," he said.