BJP MLA accused of chanting provocative slogans says he had gone to defuse tension in Delhi
Videos surfaced on social media on Tuesday evening of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Abhay Verma making rounds of Laxmi Nagar market in his constituency with at least 150 supporters, chanting provocative slogans.
Local shopkeepers in Laxmi Nagar confirmed that Verrma had visited the area. The video was tweeted by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)’s Rajya Sabha Member Sanjay Singh. Verma also happens to be the Delhi BJP vice-president, who defeated AAP’s Nitin Tyagi in the February 8 Assembly elections by a razor-thin margin of 880 votes. In the video, the new legislator is heard shouting ‘ goli maaro’ slogans.
Hindustan Times could not independently verify the authenticity of the video.
“It was around 7pm when I saw him coming from the Mangal Bazar side and going towards Vikas Marg. They were all sloganeering and some were also carrying sticks. The shop owners got so scared that some who had reopened their shops in the evening after rumours of riots in Laxmi Nagar in the afternoon, downed their shutters again and fled. The Station House Officer (SHO) of the local police station came after he left,” a shopkeeper, who did not wish to be named, said.
When contacted, Verma confirmed he had gone to the market but said that he did not shout such slogans and that he was there to defuse tensions after rumours of stone pelting surfaced in the area.
“There was panic among people, especially traders, in the area. Most shops in Laxmi Nagar had shut. I had gone with my supporters to defuse the tension. I convinced the shop owners that nothing will happen and made them open their shops again.” As for shouting provocative slogans, Verma said that his supporters didn’t chant any such slogan.
Meanwhile, Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari, who attended the all party meeting chaired by Union home minister Amit Shah on Tuesday, said, “I have appealed to all BJP leaders to do everything possible to establish peace in Delhi. No leader should do such a thing that causes confusion and sends a wrong message among the people.”
“Everyone should refrain from making inflammatory statements. Intentionally, some people are trying to mislead the common people of Delhi. Efforts have been made for several days to end peace, goodwill, and brotherhood, in which residents are being instigated and provoked,” he said.