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Did not make hate speech: Amit Shah

New Delhi : BJP leader Amit Shah Sunday denied making a hate speech in Muzaffarnagar, for which the EC pulled him up, adding there is no question of practising religion-based politics.

Asked about his “revenge” comments, which resulted in a temporary restriction on him from addressing public rallies, Shah said he asked people to get their revenge for being underdeveloped.

Shah was reported to have said in an election meeting April 3 in riot-hit Muzaffarnagar that “this election is about voting out the government that protects and gives compensation to those who killed Jats. It is about ‘badla’ (revenge) and protecting ‘izzat’ (honour)”.

“Revenge for what … you didn’t hear beyond this nor was it shown … I have said as compared to the other states in India, Uttar Pradesh is not progressing as much and we have to take revenge of this backwardness,” Shah said in an interview to TV channel CNN-IBN.

“I have not mentioned the riots anywhere in my speech. I told Election Commission too that whatever interpretation they will do, I will accept it. I have not said anything with wrong intentions,” he said.

The BJP leader, a close aide of party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, ruled out religion-based politics.

“There is no question of dharam ki rajneeti (religion-based politics)… As far as caste politics is concerned, to bring up the backward class, we decided to give them tickets and we have got good candidates,” Shah said.

Asked about the perception that his transfer to Uttar Pradesh will lead to communal tension, Shah said: “I have been here for the past 12 months … before I came, 45 riots had taken place, also 45 riots have taken place after my coming here… Riots cannot be created by an individual… if the state government governs properly, there will be no riots.”

To another question on Priyanka Gandhi Vadra campaigning in Amethi and Rae Bareli, Shah said: “Priyanka Gandhi campaigns in every election. She campaigned in the last assembly election too… No, there will be an increase in your TRPs, that’s it.”