Inflammatory slogan at Union minister Anurag Thakur’s election meeting in Delhi
Minister of state for finance Anurag Thakur led the audience of an election meeting in Rithala, Delhi on a chant that said traitors would be shot -- “Desh ke gaddaron ko; goli maro salon ko” -- although he himself didn’t utter the second part of the slogan.
Warming up the crowd for a meeting by home minister Amit Shah, who was yet to arrive at the venue, Thakur took to the microphone and screamed out the first part of the slogan, exhorting the audience to finish it , which they did.
Another union minister Giriraj Singh was also there at the time.
A video of Thakur went viral. The minister himself was not available for comment but a member of his team pointed out that Thakur had not uttered the second part of the slogan.
BJP’s Rithala candidate Manish Chaudhary said he too was “not present when the slogans were being chanted.”
It wasn’t immediately clear whether the Election Commission would react to the statement. The Delhi chief electoral officer (CEO) has sought a report from northwest district election officer (DEO) on the statements made by Thakur at the public meeting. Though we haven’t received a complaint so far, but we took cognisance of the incident and have sought a report from the DEO on the same.”
The slogan was heard during a protest march led by AAP rebel Kapil Mishra, who is BJP’s candidate from Model Town, in Connaught Place in support of the Citizenship Amendment Act in December.
Thakur’s behaviour came in for criticism from other parties.
The Aam Aadmi Party refused to comment on the issue.
Delhi Congress chief spokesperson Mukesh Sharma said that Thakur’s act shows the BJP is losing the plot. “BJP leaders are making desperate attempts as they can see their defeat. Thakur must name who all are traitors.”
The home minister, who addressed two public meetings at Rithala and Janakpuri on Tuesday, once again trained his guns at Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal for not giving permission to prosecute those who shouted slogans at the Jawaharlal Nehru University to divide the country.
Reacting to Kejriwal’s recent response to him on Twitter, Shah said, “I talk about water problems, schools CCTV camera, you tweet instantly. Today, I want to ask you if you are going to give permission to prosecute the tukde-tukde gang who wants to divide the country.”
Talking about measures taken by the Centre to the provide relief to lakhs of people in unauthorised colonies, Shah said, “Kejriwal stalled the process for years. But it was our government which has ensured that people get registry papers by paying just R 500-1000,” he said.