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People want a Delhi free of Shaheen Bagh, Shah says ahead of polls

By Ashish Mishra
PUBLISHED ON JAN 25, 2020 11:16 PM IST

New Delhi: Union home minister Amit Shah on Saturday hit out at the ongoing protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, or CAA, at Shaheen Bagh, and said people want a “Delhi free of Shaheen Bagh”. Shah reiterated his criticism of the Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) stand on the issue, and accused the party of supporting those who speak about “dividing the country”.

Shah was addressing the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) IT cell volunteers, whom he referred as ‘cyber yoddhas’ (cyber warriors) ahead of the February 8 elections in Delhi, at a program titled ‘Jeet Ki Goonj’ at the Jawaharlal Nehru Weightlifting Auditorium. Later in the evening, the BJP leader also addressed public meetings in Badli and Bawana assembly segments.

Shah began and ended his speech at JLN Stadium speaking about Shaheen Bagh, where people have been sitting on protest against the CAA and National Register of Citizens (NRC) for more than a month now.

“Say ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ after me so loudly that it reaches Shaheen Bagh…press the lotus button [BJP symbol] with such force that people of Shaheen Bagh are forced to leave the place due to its current on the evening of February 8. We want a Delhi that is pollution free, has world-class infrastructure, clean potable water and a Delhi that is free of Shaheen Bagh,” Shah said .

Indirectly referring to a video of one of the organisers of Shaheen Bagh protest, Shah said the AAP was supporting agitators who talk of “dividing the nation”.

“They [AAP] still say they are with Shaheen Bagh protesters. Today a video [of Shaheen Bagh protesters] was released. They should watch it. They support the tukde-tukde gang. Three years back [Prime Minister Narendra] Modi ji had put the people, who raised slogans to divide India in JNU, behind bars, but the AAP government didn’t give prosecution sanction. I want to ask whom do you want to protect ... those who want to divide the country. Tukde-tukde slogans will stop the day after the BJP comes to power in Delhi,” the home minister said.

The AAP did not respond to calls seeking a comment.

The AAP government is yet to give sanction for prosecution in the police charge sheet against Jawaharlal Nehru University students Kanhaiya Kumar and other accused persons in the a case of sedition.

He added that the AAP and the Congress misled people on the CAA and instigated riots in Delhi. “I have said many times in Parliament that CAA is not going to take away anyone’s citizenship, and will rather give citizenship. But their ears are shut,” Shah said.

Shah referred to Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel to support CAA, saying that such luminaries had during the partition said that persecuted religious minorities should be given citizenship.

“We will give citizenship to the persecuted religious minorities from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh. They [the AAP and the Congress] are opposing it because of vote bank politics,” he said.

The BJP veteran said that Delhi chief minister and AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal won the 2015 Delhi Assembly polls by “misleading people”, but would fail this time.

“We won 88% of the booths in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. When you support the BJP, you support the promise to make the boundaries of India secure. When you support the BJP, you are supporting the mission to make India a global figurehead,” Shah told the gathering.

He said that security was an important issue for the BJP, as it abolished Section 370 and Article 35A, both of which concerned Jammu & Kashmir, and did not care about vote banks. “I proudly say that on the occasion of Republic Day, our tricolour will be unfurled proudly in Kashmir,” he said.

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