Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party on Wednesday deleted a cartoon video posted on social media platform X that was criticised for targeting minority Muslims during an ongoing national election.

India’s election code bans campaigning based on “communal” incitement but the Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has frequently invoked the country’s main religious divide on the campaign trail.

The video, posted by an official BJP account, featured caricatures of opposition politicians scheming to abolish special affirmative action programmes for marginalised Hindu groups and instead distribute them to Muslims.

The election commission wrote to the platform’s Indian office on Tuesday saying the “objectionable” post violated Indian law.

On Wednesday the original post had disappeared from the platform, with a notice saying it had been deleted.

A police complaint filed by the opposition Congress party accused the video of promoting “enmity between different religions”.

Modi, who is widely expected to win a third term in office when the six-week general election concludes next month, has made similar claims to the video in campaign appearances since last month.

He has used public speeches to refer to Muslims as “infiltrators” and “those who have more children”, prompting condemnation from opposition politicians, who have complained to election authorities.

On Tuesday he again said that his political opponents would “snatch” affirmative action policies meant for disadvantaged Hindus and redirect them to Muslims.

Modi remains widely popular a decade after coming to power, in large part due to his government’s positioning of the nation’s majority faith at the centre of its politics, despite India’s officially secular constitution.

That in turn has made India’s 220-million-plus Muslim population increasingly anxious about their future in the country.

The BJP last month published another contentious animated video on Instagram in which a voiceover warned that if the opposition came to power, “it will snatch all the money and wealth from non-Muslims and distribute them among Muslims, their favourite community”.

The video was removed after several users reported it for “hate speech”.

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