New Delhi, April 20: An FIR has been lodged against BJP MLA from Karnataka, Sanjay Patil, for reportedly making a provocative speech during an election roadshow in Belagavi recently. While speaking at an election rally in Sulebhavi village earlier this week, Patil allegedly said for the forthcoming elections in Karnataka, the issue wasn’t a fight for better roads, drains or water. He said it was a straight Hindu versus Muslim fight. A video of his speech went viral soon after.

According to ANI, Patil went on to say that those who wanted Babri Masjid or Tipu Sultan could back Congress while those who followed Shivaji and wanted Ram Mandir should vote for the BJP. “India is a Hindu country and there must be a Ram Mandir, he had reportedly said. “I am a Hindu and I want to build a Ram temple,” he said, adding that the public should vote for Lakshmi Hebbalikar (Congress candidate in Belgaum) if she promises to build the Ram temple. He allegedly said, “They (Congress) will build Babri Masjid instead.

MumbaiMirror points out that this is not the first time Patil has courted controversy with his speech. In fact, he is known for his vitriolic speeches. In 2017, the report said, police had filed a suo motu FIR against him for his speech during Tipu Jayanti celebrations. Among the various IPC sections that the FIR was filed under were 153 A (promoting enmity between different groups) and 298 (uttering words to deliberately hurt the religious sentiments of others).

Karnataka goes to polls on May 12 while counting of votes would be held on May 15.