Clarify if anti-India slogans should be tolerated: Amit Shah to Rahul
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Clarify if anti-India slogans should be tolerated: Amit Shah to Rahul

BJP chief Amit Shah on Wednesday said Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi and other opposition leaders should clarify in Parliament if “anti-national” slogans should be tolerated in the name of freedom of speech.

JNU protests Updated: Feb 24, 2016 23:58 IST
Manish Chandra Pandey
Manish Chandra Pandey
Hindustan Times
Amit Shah,Rahul Gandhi,BJP
BJP President Amit Shah is garlanded by party workers at a function in Bahraich on Wednesday.(PTI)

BJP president Amit Shah brought the JNU row to Bahraich on Wednesday by asking his largely Dalit audience if anti-India slogans could be justified in the “garb” of freedom of speech.

Addressing the Dalit community as “sarv samaj” — a term he seems to have borrowed from BSP chief Mayawati — he urged them to vote for the BJP in the upcoming 2017 assembly polls.

Training guns at the Congress, Shah said, “Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi should clarify their party’s stand on whether raising anti-India slogans was justified or it was anti-national (‘deshdroh’). Please don’t stoop so low for vote bank politics.”

Accusing the Opposition of attempting to create hurdles in the working of the Modi government, he said, “All parties must clarify their position on the JNU row. So far the BJP is concerned, let me make it clear that we don’t support anti-India slogans.”

Shah promised to electrify all UP villages by 2019 and urged chief minister Akhilesh Yadav to support the Modi government’s policies. “We hope to electrify all UP villages by 2019. In fact, by that time we hope to electrify all the villages in the country. But for UP to benefit, it is important that CM Akhilesh Yadav extends support to Modi government’s schemes. If he does that, UP will benefit. If he doesn’t do that, he will face the consequences,” he said.

Meanwhile, Shah’s rally was not accident free. Minutes before he arrived, a portion of the stage collapsed but no one was injured.

First Published: Feb 24, 2016 17:07 IST