Kicking up a controversy, BJP MLA Suresh Rana said that curfew will be imposed in Kairana, Deoband and Moradabad if he is elected again in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls next month.
Rana, an accused in the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots and the party candidate from Thana Bhawan constituency in Shamli district, had made the remarks at a gathering in his constituency on Saturday, evoking criticism from opposition.
"If I emerge as the winner (in UP polls), curfew will be imposed in Kairana, Deoband and Moradabad," he said.
With his remarks triggering a controversy, Rana on Monday clarified that the comments were meant for goons who have spread terror in the state.
"What I meant was many people have planned to leave Western UP fearing the terror spread by goons and robbers. There is no city in that region where people have not planned to move out due to the fear of these goons," Rana said.
"...when BJP forms government in UP, these goons who are part of the mafia, whose actions are feared and who forced residents to flee will have to leave the state. The residents of UP won't fear to leave. The goons will have to leave the state," he added.
Kairana made headlines last year after BJP MP Hukum Singh alleged exodus of Hindus by releasing a list of more than 300 Hindu families who had reportedly fled the town following repeated extortion threats and violent attacks.
Singh had alleged that the ruling Samajwadi Party was preventing action against anti-social elements responsible for the exodus since they happened to be its supporters.
Hitting out at Rana, SP leader Juhi Singh said, "What does he want to do by imposing a curfew, he does not seem educated even to know when a curfew is imposed".
"One list was brought out by Hukum Singh, which was wrong. They are just telling wrong things to people so that they don't ask them the important questions like what schemes have you brought for Kairana, for UP," she said.
BJP leader Rita Bahuguna Joshi sought to distance from the MLA's remarks saying "the party is not responsible if a candidate says something".
"Modi ji and Amit Shah are saying that such statements should not be made. I don't know in what context he (Rana) has said it but I understand that our party is contesting the UP elections on the development plank," Joshi said.
Thana Bhawan circle officer Sunil Kumar Tyagi said that police has started an investigation in this connection and have sought the video footage of the gathering where Rana made the remarks on Saturday.
Rana has also been booked for allegedly violating the Model Code of Conduct after he held a public gathering and took out a road show at Hathi Karonda village in his constituency of Shamli district yesterday without the permission of the authorities, police said.