BJP may have suffered in Delhi polls due to hate statements by party leaders, says Amit Shah
The BJP managed to get only eight seats in the February 8 Delhi assembly election which was swept by the ruling Aam Aadmi Party which won 62 seats in the 70-member House.Updated: Feb 13, 2020 19:24 IST
In his first comment on provocative statements by leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday said it was possible that such statements could have contributed to the party’s defeat in national capital Delhi. “They should not have given such statements,” Shah said at the Times Now Summit to questions on hate statements such as the “goli maro” slogan and comparing the Delhi election to a India vs Pak match.
Shah said the BJP had distanced itself from these remarks and should not be construed as the party’s position. “There are all kinds of people in the fray,” he said.
Union minister of state Anurag Thakur, BJP’s West Delhi MP Parvesh Verma and the BJP’s Model Town candidate Kapil Mishra were banned from campaigning by the election commission for these inflammatory slogans and statements.
While referring to protesters at Shaheen Bagh, Thakur had led party supporters to chant the “goli maro” slogan and Verma had said that the protesters will “rape and kill your daughters and sisters”. Mishra, who called the election as a contest between “India and Pakistan” had also called the anti-CAA protest at Shaheen Bagh a “mini-Pakistan”.
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Asked about his speech where he asked voters to press the EVM buttons so hard that the Shaheen Bagh protesters would be jolted by its electric current, Amit Shah said people figured that he did not mean that people would be electrocuted. “It was in a manner of speaking to explain to people that victory (in the election) is linked to an ideology,” he said, adding that he counted it as a certificate that the opposition had only criticised one of his statements.
Shah said it was impossible to outline the factors which go into people deciding to vote a particular way but it was quite possible that such statements had a negative fallout.
Shah, however, underlined that the election result could not be counted as a mandate on the protest against the amended citizenship law at Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh. Elections are not won on a single issue, he said.
The Shaheen Bagh protest, he said, was still an issue. “How should protests be held?... In a democratic country, what should be definition of a protest and what are the issues on which protests should be held… just as people of Shaheen Bagh have the right to articulate their view, so do we.,” he said.
The BJP managed to get only eight seats in the February 8 Delhi assembly election which was swept by the ruling Aam Aadmi Party which won 62 seats in the 70-member House.