Bengaluru: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader MP Renukacharya on Tuesday sparked a row over his remarks that “Muslims store weapons in mosques and their priests (khazis) are giving fatwas instead of sermons”.

“Instead of offering prayers (namaz), Muslims are storing weapons in mosques and their priests (khazis) are giving fatwas instead of sermons,” Renukacharya made the remarks at a pro-CAA rally in his home town Honnalli in Davenagere district, around 300 km from Bengaluru.

He went on to say that he would divert funds earmarked for Muslims to Hindus as they have not responded to his call to support the CAA.

“If they (minorities) consider our party (BJP) to be enemy despite treating them as equals, I too will ignore them and not entertain them if they continue to oppose our policies and programmes,” he added.

Meanwhile, the BJP has distanced itself from Renukacharya’s statement. Karnataka BJP spokesperson S Prakash said, “The party distances itself from such statements. He (Renukacharya) has made these statements in his personal capacity and the BJP has nothing to do with anything he said.”

A former minister in the previous BJP government (2008-13), Renukacharya is currently the political secretary to Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa since August 2019.

The opposition parties have also demanded a probe and action against Renukacharya for his remarks.