Amit Shah failed to protect Delhi from communal violence: Pawar

Mumbai: NCP president Sharad Pawar on Saturday said Union Home Minister Amit Shah failed to protect Delhi, the country’s capital, from communal riots.

Speaking at a rally of the Nationalist Congress Party at Kolhapur in western Maharashtra, Pawar referred to the violence that broke out in Jahangirpuri area of Delhi during Hanuman Jayanti processions earlier this month.

“Few days back, Delhi was burning due to communal tensions. The state of Delhi is controlled by (chief minister) Arvind Kejriwal, but its police comes under the Union Home Ministry handled by Amit Shah. Shah failed to protect the city from communal riots,” he said.

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“If anything happens in Delhi, the message goes out to the world. The world would imagine that there is unrest in Delhi,” Pawar said. He also targeted the BJP government in Karnataka over communal trouble in Hooghly.

“The names of shops and their owners from minority communities were mentioned on a hoarding. It was also written on it that people should not buy things from such shops. This is a common picture in the states where the BJP is in power,” the former Union minister said. “Delhi is our national capital and some parts of it witnessed clashes, people attacked each other and there was arson,” the NCP chief further said.

“Amit Shah should have taken steps to keep Delhi unified and undivided, but he failed to do so. You have power, but you can not even handle a city like Delhi,” Pawar said.

While stating that the defeat in the 2014 general elections was “people’s mandate” which was accepted “humbly”, Pawar told NCP workers that “we have to uproot the communal forces that are currently in power in this country.” “We have to address the problems of the youth who are in dire poverty and ease the burden of the common man who is reeling under double digit inflation,” said the NCP chief.

During the recently held byelection to Kolhapur North assembly constituency, the film the Kashmir Files was shown “to influence voters in favour of the BJP,” Pawar said, adding that luckily, the people of Kolhapur rejected this politics (as the Congress candidate won).

When insurgency intensified in Jammu and Kashmir in the early 1990s (leading to the forced exile of Kashmiri Pandits), V P Singh was Prime Minister and his government had the BJP’s support, but this fact was hidden, Pawar said.

He also wondered why international leaders coming to India are “taken to Gujarat alone.” “I am glad that an international leader is visiting Gujarat. But whether it is then US president Donald Trump, Chinese president Xi Jinping or the latest visit of the UK Prime Minister (Boris Johnson), all were taken to Gujarat and not to any other states. It shows what the rulers in Delhi think about other states,” Pawar said.

“We are facing a major struggle to keep this country united,” he said, adding that after 2014 general elections the gap between communities and people widened.

Talking about the alleged misuse of central investigation agencies, Pawar said very few people knew about the Enforcement Directorate earlier, but “now ED is everywhere.” “First they charged former (Maharashtra) home minister Anil Deshmukh with taking Rs 100 crore bribe, but later changed their statement to Rs four crore. Similarly, a 20-year-old case against (state minister) Nawab Malik was dug out selectively and he was framed up,” the NCP chief alleged.

Both the NCP leaders are facing money laundering probes.

“If the Union government thinks that the NCP or other opposition parties can be muzzled with the help of ED or CBI, then they are living in a fool’s paradise,” the former Union minister said.

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