Don't buy vegetables from Muslim vendors: BJP MLA

BJP MLA in Uttar Pradesh caught on video telling people not to buy vegetables from Muslim vendors

Representative image. (iStock photo)

Prime minister Narendra Modi may have cautioned against communalising the coronavirus pandemic, an Uttar Pradesh MLA of his own party has asked the people not to 'buy' vegetables from the Muslim vendors.

Suresh Tewari, a BJP legislator from Barhaj assembly seat in UP's Deoria district, was caught on tape making the controversial remarks while addressing a group of people in his assembly constituency.

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''Keep in mind one thing...I am telling you openly....no one will buy vegetables from the miyans (Muslims),'' the lawmaker is heard saying on the tape.

As the remarks drew flak from different quarters, Tewari sought to defend the statement saying that it was made during a casual conversation with his supporters in his assembly constituency.

''My supporters told me that Muslim vendors were spitting on the vegetables before selling them so I told them not to buy the same from them,'' he said.

The opposition parties demanded arrest of Tewari for ''spreading communal hatred''. ''BJP must expel the MLA...he should be arrested forthwith,'' said a UP Congress leader here on Tuesday.

There had been reports from different parts in the country about people refusing to buy vegetables from the Muslim vendors. 

A reputed private hospital in UP's Meerut town had banned admission of Muslim patients unless they furnished COVID-19 negative test reports for them and their attendants.