Updated: February 15, 2021 6:17:25 pm
A day after Haryana Agriculture Minister JP Dalal said that the protesting farmers would have died even if they had stayed back home, the state’s Home Minister Anil Vij has called for “complete eradication of people who have anti-national thoughts”.
Referring to the arrest of climate change activist Disha Ravi by the Delhi Police, Vij Monday in a tweet said, “Those who have anti-national thoughts in their mind must be completely eradicated. Be it Disha Ravi or anybody else.”
He later added, “I do not say that objecting to government’s policies is a crime. It is democracy and anybody can object on any issue. But conspiring with foreign forces to raise an objection comes under the category of anti-national. If we don’t stop this and do not take action immediately, it will spread like a contagious disease. It is not in the interest of the nation. That is why, strictest action should be taken against such people.”
After his tweet for reported, Vij also, subsequently, posted a response from Twitter. It read: “Twitter is required by German law to provide notice to users who are reported by people from Germany via the Network Enforcement Act reporting flow. We have received a complaint regarding your account @anilvijminister, for the following content – Tweet ID: 1361176412950982659 Tweet Text: Desh virodh ka beej jiske bhi dimaag mein ho uska samooh naash kar dena chahiye, fir chahe veh #disha_ravi ho ya koi aur. We have investigated the reported content and have found that it is not subject to removal under the Twitter Rules or German law. Accordingly, we have not taken any action as a result of this specific report”.
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— ANIL VIJ MINISTER HARYANA (@anilvijminister) February 15, 2021
Coming out strongly against political leaders who have condemned Disha’s arrest, Vij further said, “Also, people who come in support of such people and incite others for anti-national activities should also be identified, even if it is leaders like Priyanka Gandhi or Rahul Gandhi or Arvind Kejriwal. Their purpose behind their action should also be identified. Such people should be fully condemned and shamed in the entire country.”
This is not the first time when Vij’s comments have sparked a political controversy. The Haryana home minister had earlier made objectionable statements regarding various other politicians, including JJP leader and incumbent Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Congress leaders Shashi Tharoor and Rahul Gandhi, former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Haryana Vidhan Sabha’s former Speaker Kuldeep Sharma, Punjab Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu and many others.
In fact, Chautala had even filed a criminal defamation case against Vij, which is still going on in the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate at Hisar. The next hearing in the case is on February 25.
In 2019, Vij had called Mamata Banerjee a “Taadka” (mythological demoness)” for not allowing Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s helicopter to land in the state for a rally. In the same year, he had called Rahul Gandhi a “Nipah Virus”.
In one of his tweets, he had said, “Shashi Tharoor behooda aadmi hai, shakal aur akal se veh Hindustani nahi lagte”; “Navjot Sidhu ke gale mein Pakistani jehar bhar gaya hai, jehar ka ilaaz 108 baar bharat mata ki jai bol kar hoga.”
In November, 2018, when the Delhi Chief Minister had come to Haryana to examine a sub-health centre in Karnal, Vij had said, “If Kejriwal has pregnancy-related issues, he can write to me and I shall get it treated. If he wants to opt for family planning, I will send my employees to his residence and get it done. But we shall not allow him to visit our health centres for doing politics.”
In November 2018, Vij had posted another tweet calling Kejriwal “mental” and added that “his ailment can only be treated at Rohtak PGIMS”. In 2018, he had criticised Punjab Cabinet minister Navjot Sidhu’s visit to Pakistan on the invitation of Pakistan PM Imran Khan for the latter’s oath-taking ceremony. Vij had then called Sidhu a “bhaand” (clown) and Imran Khan a “shaitan (evil)”. In another tweet, he even called Sidhu a “girgit” (chameleon).
On May 13, 2017, Vij had tweeted advising West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to jump into sea if she was ashamed of being born in India. He had reacted to Mamata’s comment wherein she had said that she was ashamed of being born in a country where people still indulge in violence in the name of religion. On July 1, 2017 he had tweeted calling Hooda a “madaari” (juggler) and Sharma a “bandar” (monkey).
Other Haryana BJP leaders, too, have made objectionable comments on the farmers’ agitation, which have attracted strong criticism from the opposition leaders.
Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had earlier blamed the Congress, Communists and farmer leaders for the ongoing agitation.
State Education Minister Kanwar Pal had blamed China for the agitation. “I believe, 100 per cent, that China is behind this protest. The reason is that after the pandemic, a large number of big industries were expected to move to India from China. Therefore, to disturb the law and order situation here, China has opted for such tactics. And the people from their (China) party, the Communists, are leaders of this agitation,” Kanwar Pal had told The Indian Express.
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