BJP president Amit Shah Monday hit out at UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi for allegedly shedding tears for terrorists killed in the Batla House encounter of 2008, but not for the policeman who lost his life in the same incident.
He defended the party’s decision to nominate Sadhvi Pragya as a Lok Sabha candidate from Bhopal, saying the allegations against her are false and the real culprits in the Malegaon blast case have evaded the law.
On contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill and NRC, the BJP president asserted that after coming to power again his party will pass the Bill and implement the National Register of Citizens (NRC) across the country to provide Indian citizenship to refugees and weed out infiltrators.
He made a blistering attack at West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for raising accusing fingers at Election Commission out of fear of losing polls.
“The Batla House encounter happened during the UPA rule. Sonia Gandhi had shed tears for the terrorists killed there. However, she did not cry for the police officer who lost his life in the incident. The Congress must answer this,” Shah said addressing a media conference.
He said this when asked to comment on Congress leader Salman Khurshid’s recent challenge to UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to debate on the Batla House encounter.
A team of Delhi police had raided a Batla House flat in south Delhi following a tip-off that terrorists involved in the September 13, 2008 serial blasts in the national capital, were holed up there. Two suspected terrorists and one police inspector were killed in the encounter that took place six days after the serial blasts.
Shah defended the BJP’s decision to nominate Sadhvi Pragya, who is out on bail in the Malegaon blast case of 2008, from Bhopal Lok Sabha constituency to take on former chief minister Digvijay Singh.
“As far as Sadhvi Pragya is concerned, false cases were filed against her in the name of Hindu terror and saffron terror. It was proved in court that these are false cases. Everybody was acquitted,” Shah said.
“If false cases were filed against Sadhvi Pragya and Swami Aseemanand, then where are the real culprits?” Shah asked. Claiming that the “real culprits” were let off after being arrested, he said, questions should be asked why they were released.
American agencies had said Lashkar-e-Taiba terror group was involved in the blasts, he claimed. On the contentious issue of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill and the NRC, Shah said refugees need not worry as after returning to power, the BJP will first bring
the bill in Parliament to provide them citizenship and then implement the NRC across the country to weed out infiltrators.
“The Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Christians refugees will not face any problem. They will be given citizenship and will remain in this country with full dignity,” Shah said.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha on January 8 but was not tabled in Rajya Sabha where the BJP does not have a majority. The bill could not be passed in the Rajya Sabha due to opposition by certain political parties, including the Trinamool Congress, Shah said adding that there will be no problem in passing the bill after 2020 as the ‘picture’ in the Rajya Sabha will change by then.
To a question on alleged discrepancies over citizenship in Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s poll affidavit filed at Amethi, Shah said the returning officer concerned should look into it.
He ridiculed West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s claim that a “parallel government” is being run in the state by the Election Commission and the BJP.
“She is complaining against EC as she is afraid of losing polls. When she was fighting the Left Front in 2011, several police officers were changed and special observers were appointed. She had then never complained against it,” Shah said.
He was referring to the 2011 assembly election in West Bengal which brought Banerjee to power. “Now when the EC is doing is the same thing, she is saying a parallel government is being run. She is fearing that her goons cannot have a free run,” he alleged.
On allegations raised by TMC that several leaders who were accused in chit fund scam have joined BJP, Shah said, “We have inducted them in the party after checking their record. When there is a complete investigation, you will get to know the truth.”
He had earlier alleged that TMC has destroyed several pieces of evidence in the chit fund scam and said if BJP is voted to power in Bengal, it would ensure that all those involved in the chit fund scam are punished.
Asked if the BJP will seek support from the Trinamool Congress in case it falls short of a majority, he said, “The question does not arise. We will get a full majority. The information from across the country after the first two phases of the polls is that the people have voted with enthusiasm to re-elect Modi-ji as prime minister again.”
Reiterating his charge that “democracy has ceased to exist in West Bengal”, Shah exuded confidence that people of the state will defeat the Trinamool Congress in this election.
Shah has set an ambitious target of winning 23 out of a total of 42 Lok Sabha seats in Bengal. He mocked the opposition for “failing to present” a clear cut policy on national security and its “inability” to put forward a single leader.