Shaheen Bagh activists join BJP; AAP alleges plot

New Delhi: Several members of the minority Muslim community from Shaheen Bagh area, that was the centre of the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests here, joined the BJP on August 16 in the presence of its Delhi unit leaders, said a party statement. The induction ceremony took place in the presence of president of the BJP’s Delhi unit Adesh Gupta and national vice-president and incharge of Delhi unit Shyam Jaju, it said.

“The enthusiasm with which Muslim brothers and sisters are joining BJP clearly shows that people of all religions have faith in the Modi government,” Gupta said on the occassion at the Delhi BJP office.

“Social worker Shahzad Ali, gynecologist Dr Mehreen, former AAP worker Tabassum Hussain along with a large number of Muslim brothers and sisters joined the Bharatiya Janata Party,” said the Delhi BJP statement.

Ali, former Delhi unit secretary of Rashtriya Ulema Council, told PTI, “A narrative has been set by many parties in the past seven decades that BJP is the enemy of Muslims. I think you will have to go to BJP to find out if its your enemy or friend. We received a warm welcome from party leaders today and look up to work with them like any other party worker.”

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Delhi BJP leader Nighat Abbas said the people who joined the party are residents of Shaheen Bagh area. There is a “myth” that Muslims are “averse” to the BJP which stands dispelled by people from the minority community joining the party, she said.

Welcoming the new entrants to the party fold, Delhi BJP president said the public welfare schemes of the BJP government at the Centre do not focus on any religion or caste but give equal benefits to all.

“The BJP has never done any work on the basis of caste and religion but there are some parties which have scared Muslim communities and deprived them of education, employment and development and used them for vote bank,” he said.The BJP government has worked to end social evils and has also ended the practice of triple talaq to empower the Muslim woman, he added.

Shaheen Bagh was BJP’s plot

BJP conspired with the Delhi Police and planned the protests at Shaheen Bagh to get political mileage ahead of the Delhi assembly elections, claims AAP.

“The Shaheen Bagh protest was the BJPs main election issue… the BJP stands exposed now as the organisers of the Shaheen Bagh protests have joined BJP,” said AAP’s Saurabh Bharadwaj, accusing the BJP of polarizing Delhi to win the election.  

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“The Delhi Police did not remove Shaheen Bagh protestors on the instructions of BJP,” Mr Bhardwaj told NDTV, asserting that the Delhi Police was hand-in-glove with the BJP.

The protest was a key issue for the BJP ahead of the assembly elections. The party repeatedly alleged that Mr Kejriwal’s AAP was hand-in-glove with the protesters and was appeasing the minority community, which comprised a majority among the protesters.

In his rallies, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had tagged the protests as “anarchy” and sought Delhi’s mandate to stop it.

“Whether it is Seelampur, Jamia or Shaheen Bagh, there have been multiple protests against the CAA. Do you think these protests are a coincidence? It is not. It is all an experiment rooted in politics. If it was simply about a law, it would have ended,” PM Modi had said, accusing AAP and the Congress of practicing appeasement politics.

There was also a string of hate speeches from BJP leaders, after which violence swept northeast Delhi in which 53 people, most of them Muslims, died. The violence had started as clashes between the protesters for and against the Citizenship Amendment Act.

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