Yatnal lands himself in the soup over remarks against Muslim voters

Vijayapura MLA defends statements after video clip goes viral

June 08, 2018 12:54 am | Updated 12:54 am IST - Vijayapura

 Basanagouda Patil Yatnal addressing reporters on Thursday.

Basanagouda Patil Yatnal addressing reporters on Thursday.

Basanagouda Patil Yatnal, BJP MLA for Vijayapura, has landed himself in an embarrassing situation by making controversial remarks against Muslim voters of his constituency.

In a video clip that has gone viral, Mr. Yatnal is seen saying that he has asked BJP councillors of the city not to do any work of Muslims in their wards.

“I have instructed BJP corporators not to do any work of Muslims,” he says in the video, as the audience responds with applause. When he asks the audience who voted him to become an MLA, some people respond with “Hindus”. Then, Mr. Yatnal goes on to say that he had declared before the elections that he did not need the votes of Muslims.

“I had said clearly that burka-clad women and skull cap-wearing men should not come behind me during elections,” he says in the video.

On Thursday, when reporters sought his response after the video clip went viral, Mr. Yatnal defended his stand and admitted that he had asked Muslims not to vote for him.

When asked if it was not wrong to make such statements, Mr. Yatnal said why such questions were not posed to MIM leader Akbaruddin Owaisi who has made similar controversial statements.

He added that he was working only to protect the Hindus who, he said, were in trouble. “Is standing for the Hindus wrong in this country? Yes, I am talking for the Hindus and there is nothing wrong in that,” he said.

When asked if he does not want Muslims to seek his help as he is an MLA, Mr. Yatnal said Muslims could go to government offices for any help.

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