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Amidst hectic electioneering in Uttar Pradesh, firebrand Bharatiya Janata Party MP Yogi Adityanath on Saturday again sought to play the religious card, saying the alleged exodus of Hindus from Kairana and 'love jihad' were important issues for the party.
BJP, he said, will not let Western Uttar Pradesh turn into another Kashmir, a reference to the forced migration of Kashmiri Pandits from the Valley in the 1990s.
"Issues like Hindu exodus from Kairana, love jihad and women's safety will dominate the poll scene," he said at an event organised by a news channel in Lucknow.
"Yogi is not talking about today, Yogi is talking about future. Exodus is a very big issue for us," he said, adding, "BJP will not let western Uttar Pradesh turn into another Kashmir."
BJP MP Hukum Singh had in June 2016 claimed that nearly 350 Hindus had left Kairana over alleged threats and extortion by criminal elements belonging to a particular community.
The Lok Sabha member from Gorakhpur claimed that in eastern part of UP, both Hindu and Muslim population was safe.
"In eastern UP, if a Hindu is safe, so is a Muslim," he said.
The BJP's star campaigner said the issue of love jihad will certainly be a crucial point in the polls.
"Love jihad was then an issue and it is still an issue," he said.
When asked about the agenda of his "anti-Romeo squads", the controversial leader said the "force" will work towards restoring pride of women and ending discriminations.
"There are areas in western UP where girls can't go to school. The squad will work for their rights and ensure safety of women in the state," he said.