Amit Shah targets Congress, AAP at launch of east Delhi hub
Union home minister Amit Shah on Thursday blamed the Congress and the so-called “tukde-tukde gang” he said the party leads for fanning unrest in Delhi over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act , or CAA, and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) . Shah also said Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal had done nothing for the city.
Shah targeted the two parties, which reacted strongly, ahead of elections due to take place by February to the Delhi assembly.
“I want to say that the Congress and the tukde-tukde gang led by it are responsible for the unrest in the city. It is time to punish them. They are to be blame for the violence in the city. People of Delhi should punish them,” Shah said after laying the foundation stone for an integrated development hub at Karkardooma in east Delhi.
Tukde-tukde gang is a phrase coined by the ruling Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) and its politicians for liberals who they claim sympathise with anti-national forces and want India to be broken up into pieces.
“When the Citizenship Amendment Act was being discussed in Parliament, nobody (opposition parties) said anything. But once they were out (of Parliament), they started misleading people,” Shah said.
His comments came in the context of protests staged in the city over the CAA, which is aimed at speeding up the grant of Indian citizenship to minorities like Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists, Parsis and Jains, from the Muslim-majority nations of Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, as well as NRC, an exercise proposed to identify illegal immigrants settled in India.
The Congress has been a strong critic of the CAA on grounds that it makes Indian citizenship contingent on the religious identity of those whom it seeks to benefit..
The Congress hit back at Shah. “The BJP is just baffled by the recent successes of the Congress in various states. As far as CAA-NRC is concerned, we have only led peaceful demonstrations and made our stand clear that any attempt to violate the ideals of the Constitution of India will not be tolerated,” said Delhi Congress chief Subhash Chopra.
The references to recent successes of the Congress appeared to be an allusion to the Congress coming to power in Maharashtra and Jharkhand as a junior partner in three-party coalitions.
Shah also targeted Kejriwal and his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government of doing nothing for Delhi and taking credit for projects planned by the Centre for Delhi, where the party came to power with a landslide in 2015 by winning 67 of the assembly’s 70 seats.
“For 57 months, Kejriwal and his government did not do any work. And for last three months, they are doing ads,” the home minister, who is also BJP president, said.
“It was PM Narendra Modi who announced the Centre’s scheme to provide piped water to all households in the country by 2024. But now Kejriwal is trying to take credit for it….He should tell people what’s his plan and the budgetary allocations for it,” Shah said.
Referring to a row over the quality of water being supplied to households in Delhi, Shah cited a recent report by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and said samples collected from Delhi failed on several quality parameters.
In a report card of its government released on Tuesday, AAP had listed work it has done in education and health, power and increasing the coverage of piped water supply among its major achievements in the past five years.
Asking people to vote for the BJP in the upcoming elections, Shah said the AAP had stalled all central government welfare scheme such as the Ayushman Bharat health insurance scheme and the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana housing programme.
AAP slammed the BJP, calling it an “epitome of negative politics”.
“To claim that AAP has done no development work in the five years is a classic example of how removed from ground reality BJP is in Delhi and is the epitome of negative politics. Not only are they unable to see the development work which is making global headlines on its merit, they have also not understood the pulse of the people, which is overwhelmingly in favour of Arvind Kejriwal due to Delhi’s transformation under his able administration,” said the AAP’s national spokesperson Raghav Chadha.
“For those who claim AAP is taking credit for development work done by the centre, as has been established by recent electoral results, nobody wants to have any association with the BJP government. The BJP-led central government is turning out to be indecisive, self-contradictory, ineffective and a total disaster. Instead of taking credit, any sane person would rather disassociate himself or herself with anything that has BJP written over it.”
Shah, once again, challenged the Delhi CM to an open debate with the BJP MP from West Delhi, Parvesh Verma, on the city’s development. Shah said, “He (Kejriwal) should decide a place and time for an open debate on the issue of development works done by them with our MP Parvesh (Verma).”
Spread over 30 hectares, the integrated development of East Delhi Hub in Karkardooma, is being done as per Transit Oriented Development model. The project, which will be developed by National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC India), will have around 4,526 residential units for the general category and 2,088 for the EWS.