NEW DELHI: Delhi’s people will prevent “thousands of incidents like Shaheen Bagh” if they vote for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on February 8, said Union Home Minister Amit Shah, referring to the place in the city where women have camped since December to protest against a new citizenship law.
Shah, at an election rally on Sunday, accused Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, who leads the Aam Aadmi Party, and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi of supporting people allegedly inimical to the country.
“Are you their vote bank? Why do Rahul Baba and Kejriwal want to save tukde tukde gang that raised slogans for fragmentation of the country. They do this because of fear of their vote bank,” said Shah, in Rohtas Nagar constituency, using a Hindi term his party uses for groups or people it says are disloyal to the country.
Shah was speaking about the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), the controversial law that, excluding Muslims, aims to fast-track citizenship for persecuted Hindus, Parsis, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains and Christians who arrived in India before December 31, 2014, from Muslim-majority Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
The passing of the bill on December 11 last year triggered demonstrations across the country. Shaheen Bagh, in south Delhi district, has earned headlines for protest by women who have joined by students and activists.
“Your vote to BJP candidate will make Delhi and the country safe and prevent thousands of incidents like Shaheen Bagh. When you press the button (of EVM) on February 8, do so with such anger that its current (poll result) is felt at Shaheen Bagh,” the BJP leader said.
The BJP, which last governed Delhi two decades ago, has made CAA the centre of its campaign pitch. “Shouldn’t Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists who witnessed their women being raped, lost their properties in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan and who came to India over the past 70 years be given citizenship of this country.”
Shah criticised the AAP and the Congress for their views on Parliament ending Kashmir semi-autonomous status, the proposed construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya and student protests at Jawaharlal Nehru University.
Shah, a former BJP president, accused the Kejriwal government of failing in fulfilling “all” its promises including construction of new schools and colleges, free WiFi, installing of CCTV cameras, supplying clean water, reducing pollution, building roads and cleaning the Yamuna.
Shah promised that if voted to power in Delhi, the BJP will ensure two-room houses to city’s slum dwellers in five years.
Polling to 70-member Delhi assembly will be held on February 8 and the counting of votes will take place on February 11.