However, a video of the remarks doing the rounds on social media counters Pilla's claims of never having made the comment at all.
Bharatiya Janata Party’s Kerala unit president PS Sreedharan Pillai on Sunday stoked a controversy when he said that Muslims can be identified by “removing their clothes”. He was addressing a rally while campaigning for BJP candidate Sobha Surendran in Attingal.
Pillai’s remark came in a response to the questions raised by the Opposition parties on the number of terrorists killed in the Balakot air strikes, reported The News Minute.
When confronted on the matter, Pillai termed it a falsehood and said he never made such a comment anywhere. “I will be taking legal action to counter these allegations and the complaint against me in the EC,” Pillai told TNM.
However, a video of the remarks doing the rounds on social media counters Pilla’s claims of never having made the comment at all.
“Our Rahul Gandhi, Yechury, and Pinarayi are saying, our soldiers have to go there and see the count of the dead…their caste, religion etc. If it is Islam, there are some signs, no?” he says, as per the video.
He added, “If you remove their clothes you will be able to know. We have to do all that and return is what they (the Opposition) are saying.”
The comment triggered a massive political row in the state, with both the Congress and the LDF slamming the remarks.
CPI(M) leader VS Sivanjutty approached the Election Commission and filed a complaint citing violation of the Model Code of Conduct seeing as it is targeted towards a religious community and also promotes hatred between different religions.
Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala has demanded that Pillai makes a public apology, adding that Pillai’s comment was an insult to the Muslims.
Chennithala also said that Pillai should face action by the EC for poll code violation, if he fails to do so. IUML leader and Malappuram MP PK Kunhalikutty termed it as an attempt to polarise Kerala and accused the BJP of indulging in vote bank politics.