Lucknow: Bharatiya Janata Party’s controversial leader Sangeet Som, who was recently suspected of igniting communal riots in Western Uttar Pradesh, has called for a ‘mahapanchayat’ on the controversial ‘love jihad’ issue, on the eve of UP by-polls. The BJP has distanced itself from Som’s plans, reported media. “BJP is not with Som. The state unit of the BJP is responsible for local development. The party has nothing to say on the issue,” said BJP national spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi on Monday. The party has been under fire from its political opponents over a slew of communally insensitive remarks by some of its leaders. The BJP spokesperson also tried to play down the party’s tenor and deflected blame on the ‘love jihad’ controversy. “It is not a BJP agenda. The BJP is not raising the issue nationally. Leaders of different religions should come together to solve this,” Trivedi said. The term ‘love jihad’ is being used by some political and religious leaders to describe relationships between Muslim men and Hindu women, and to characterise such relationships as a strategy aimed at conversion and long-term demographic change. The party’s campaign for the by-elections in the state is being headed by controversial MP Yogi Adityanath, another BJP leader who has earned the party flak for his acerbic remarks aimed at Muslims. Around one lakh members from across western Uttar Pradesh are expected to attend the event to voice their opinion about an issue, which has shot to national fame in the last few days. According to Som, there is an attempt by youths from a particular community to indulge in ‘eve-teasing’ of Hindu girls. He claimed that nearly 400 people have lodged complaints with him regarding this matter.