Protesters raise slogans during a demonstration against the amended Citizenship Act and National Register of Citizens at Shaheen Bagh in New Delhi on Tuesday. (Photo: PTI)
EC issues notice to minister for ‘goli maaro’ remark.
New Delhi: As the BJP decided to make anti-CAA protests in Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh its main plank for the Assembly polls in the national capital, incendiary and hate speeches seemed to be growing with furious intensity. On Tuesday, BJP MP Parvesh Verma came up with a fresh hate rant. “Lakhs of people gather there (Shaheen Bagh). People of Delhi will have to think and take a decision.” Raising the alarm, Mr Verma launched into a bitter verbal attack against the minorities, and he said: “They will enter your houses, rape your sisters and daughters, kill them… There is time today, Modiji and Amit Shah won’t come to save you tomorrow.” On Monday, anti-minority slogans like goli maaro saalo ko (sic) were raised by the public at a rally addressed by Union minister Anurag Thakur in support of the BJP candidate from Rithala, Manish Chaudhary.
The Election Commission issued a showcause notice to Mr Thakur on Tuesday after Delhi’s chief electoral officer submitted a report to the EC on the “provocative” language used by the minister while canvassing for his party candidate in Rithala. He has been given time till 12 noon on Thursday, January 30, to respond to the notice. The Delhi CEO also submitted its report in connection with Mr Verma’s comments against the Shaheen Bagh protesters and his tweet on religious places.
Mr Verma, who is the party’s MP from West Delhi, said what happened in Kashmir with Kashmiri Pandits could happen in the national capital too, warning that lakhs of anti-CAA protesters in Shaheen Bagh could enter homes to kill and rape women. “What happened in Kashmir with Kashmiri Pandits could happen in Delhi also. Lakhs of people gather at Shaheen Bagh, they could enter houses, rape and kill your sisters and daughters. The people need to decide now,” Mr Verma said.
Mr Verma said the people of the country felt safe because of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but he might not be able to save them if a situation like this arises. “Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia have supported Shaheen Bagh protesters and now it is time for the people of the national capital to decide who they want to vote for in the February 8 Assembly polls,” Mr Verma added.
Speaking at an election meeting in Janakpuri, in the presence of Union home minister Amit Shah on Monday, Mr Verma had said that if the BJP formed a government in Delhi, the Shaheen Bagh protest site would be vacated on the night of February 11 itself.
At the same meeting, Mr Verma further said there were 40 mosques, graveyards and mazars illegally constructed on government land in his West Delhi constituency, and if the BJP won the elections, the land would be vacated within a month.
At a public rally in Rithala, Mr Thakur shouted “desh ke gaddaron ko”, to which the crowd responded “goli maaro saalo ko (sic)” (shoot down the traitors). Mr Thakur raised the pitch of nationalism as he linked the Opposition parties with the anti-CAA protests at Shaheen Bagh and with alleged anti-India slogans, and then asked the crowd to raise the controversial slogan.
Mr Thakur was also heard telling the crowd to raise the slogan in such a high pitch that Giriraj Singh, a firebrand Hindutva leader and a Union minister, could hear it. The BJP’s Rithala candidate is seen as a protégé of Mr Singh.
Last week, in a series of tweets, BJP Model Town candidate Kapil Mishra termed the coming Assembly polls as a contest between India and Pakistan. “India vs Pakistan 8th February Delhi. There will a contest on Delhi Roads between India and Pakistan on February 8,” Mr Mishra tweeted. The Election Commission imposed a 48-hour campaigning ban on Mr Mishra following his controversial tweets from Saturday evening.
Union minister and BJP’s Delhi poll in-charge Prakash Javdekar had said voters in the national capital need to decide on whether they want “Jinnah wali Azadi or Bharat Mata ki jai”.
On Monday, Union law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad alleged that Shaheen Bagh protest was emerging as a textbook case of a few hundred people trying to “suppress” the silent majority in Delhi. Mr Prasad said that elements trying to fragment India were getting cover at the Shaheen Bagh protest where the national flag was being waved. “It is offering a platform to Tukde Tukde gang elements under the garb of opposition to the Citizenship Amendment Act. This protest is not just a protest against the CAA, it is a protest against Modi,” he added.