In an indication that the BJP may not declare its chief ministerial face ahead of the Delhi Assembly elections, BJP president Amit Shah, while addressing booth-level workers, said the party would form the next government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Setting the tone for the upcoming elections, Shah accused the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) of instigating “riots” by “misleading” people on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and asking BJP workers to carry out an extensive campaign to explain the law to voters.
Targeting AAP’s Arvind Kejriwal and the Congress’s Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Shah said, “Pradhanmantri CAA ko lekar aye, cabinet me manjuri di, Lok Sabha ne parit kiya…Kejriwal ne janta ko ghumrah kar… Congress Party ne, vishesh kar Rahul Baba aur Priyanka Vadra ne, janta ko gumrah kar ke dange karwane ka kaam kiya hai (The Prime Minister brought in CAA, the Cabinet cleared it, Lok Sabha passed it… then, by misleading people, Arvind Kejriwal and the Congress, especially Rahul Baba and Priyanka Vadra, are doing the work of instigating riots by misleading people). Do you want a government in Delhi which incites riots for politics? What is wrong with CAA, I want to ask you… Tell me, the poor refugees… Dalit, Sikh refugees who came from Pakistan and Bangladesh, should get citizenship or not?” He also said there is no provision in the CAA to take away anyone’s citizenship.
No CM face sign of rift
Amit Shah’s assertion that the BJP would fight the Delhi Assembly election under the leadership of the PM is an indication that the party is unlikely to announce a chief ministerial candidate. It’s also a sign that the party is still beset with infighting.
Asking BJP workers to reach out to Dalits, Sikhs and refugees by holding door-to-door campaigns and telling them that “Modiji wants to give them citizenship, but anti-Dalit Kejriwal and anti-Dalit Congress is opposing it”, Shah said, “I will start the campaign by reaching out to each house… Will you spread the message of Modiji? Will you expose the anti-national stand of Rahul Gandhi? Will you tell people how Kejriwalji has misled.”
Referring to the recent attack on Gurdwara Nankana Sahib in Pakistan, Shah attacked Pakistan for “terrorising” Sikhs and asked Opposition leaders to “open their eyes to atrocities against minorities” in the neighbouring country. “Tell me, if these Sikhs who were attacked the other day in Gurdwara Nankana Sahib don’t come to India, where they will go?” he asked, referring to the CAA.
Addressing the gathering at IG Stadium in Delhi, the BJP leader also claimed that Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had extended her support to rioters by saying that she would “visit the homes of those who carried out riots”.
In his half-an-hour speech, Shah tried to reach out to communities such as Purvanchalis, Gujjars, Jats, Dalits and Sikhs.
He asked people to give missed calls to a toll free number put out by the BJP to show their support to the CAA and slammed rumours that the number belonged to Netflix, a streaming service.