A day after his controversial speech, in which he claimed “India will become a Hindu rashtra by 2024”, Surendra Singh, BJP MLA from Bariya in UP, Sunday claimed he was “misunderstood”. He told The Indian Express, “What I meant was that while 50 per cent of the Muslim brothers, who were originally Hindus and converted to Islam, would bring themselves back to the mainstream, all those whose bodies are in India but feelings are with Pakistan should leave and go there.”

He said that while this was his opinion and not that of the party, he feels the time has come for the “dream of Hindu rashtra” to become a reality. “RSS ki 100 saal ki tapasya 2024 mein sakar hogi aur Bharat ek Hindu rashtra banega.” “Leaders like Rahul Gandhi are ‘jersey’ politicians, who come from two cultures — Italy and India. How can we expect such leaders to work for the betterment and development of India? Congress believes in the zamindari system and thus leaders like Rahul Gandhi will never be an alternative to BJP leaders like Narendra Modi,” he said.