BJP legislator says 90% Muslims 'steal' power

BJP legislator says 90% Muslims 'steal' power

In picture: Sanjay Gupta, BJP MLA from Chail in UP's Kaushambi district. ANI photo.

In a state with a staggering 30% power pilferage, an Uttar Pradesh BJP legislator sought to give communal colour to the theft of power saying 90% Muslims indulged in power stealing.

Sanjay Gupta, BJP MLA from Chail in UP's Kaushambi district, about 200 km from here, was caught on tape accusing the state power officials of ''targeting'' the majority community while conducting the drive against power theft.

In the audio clip that went viral on social networking sites, the MLA, who was said to be furious over raids by the power officials on the houses and industrial units of some of his supporters, threatened executive engineer Avinash Singh of ''serious consequences'' over what he alleged singling out his people only.

''Go conduct raids in Muslim localities...90% of Muslims steal power,'' the MLA is heard telling Singh on telephone.

Gupta also asked Singh to furnish the list of people from the minority community against whom FIRs were lodged in connection with power thefts.

5-yr jail 

On being questioned about the remarks, Gupta said that his comment was based on facts. ''What I have said is correct and based on facts,'' he claimed.

UP government has launched a drive to check power theft in the state and has decided to set-up dedicated police stations for this purpose. The new rules provided for a jail term of five years for first-time offenders.

A large number of FIRs have been lodged in the past few months in connection with power thefts across the state. According to sources, around 30% power was pilfered in the state.