The Shaheen Bagh residents were among 100-plus people from the Muslim community who had joined the BJP on Sunday. The AAP had pointed at the event to suggest BJP had orchestrated the Shaheen Bagh anti-CAA sit-in for electoral gains before the Delhi Assembly polls. Both the BJP and the organisers of the protest deny this.
A senior BJP leader from the state unit said, “At a time when the riots are being linked to the anti-CAA protests, such an event was avoidable.” He said the central leadership has asked the state unit to be cautious with such events in the future.
Another leader said the event gave “unnecessary arsenal” to the AAP. “The issue is not with people from the minority community joining — we have a minority morcha dedicated for that. The issue is Shaheen Bagh. When we had a very clear stand about the sit-in during the polls, such an event is bound to leave our supporters confused,” he said.
The BJP had said that those who joined the party included people who earlier supported CAA as well as those who were against it. Delhi BJP president Adesh Gupta, however, said no one is unhappy with the induction, and anyone who believes in the party’s ideology can join.
Delhi BJP media head Ashok Goel reiterated this, and said, “We believe in ‘sabka saath, sabka vishwas’ and people from all walks of life, including people from different parties, join the BJP from time to time if they have faith in our ideology.”
BJP leader Nighat Abbass, who led the joining, said, “Today also we are not endorsing the Shaheen Bagh protest. People who have joined the party understood they were being misguided, so they came to the party. BJP is a big family and if someone believes in the party’s principles, they are welcome.”
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