A video of Union Minister Anurag Thakur purportedly encouraging the crowd at a BJP rally in New Delhi to chant “shoot the traitors” has surfaced on social media Monday.
The video, shot at an election rally in Rithala, shows the Minister of State for Finance chanting “desh ke gaddaron ko (traitors of this country)” to which the crowd responded “goli maro saalon ko” (shoot down the traitors) — a slogan frequently used against anti-CAA protesters.
The office of Delhi Chief Electoral Officer has sough a report of the incident. “We have taken cognisance of the incident and have sought a report from the district election officer. However, we have not received any complaint so far,” a senior official in the Delhi CEO Office told news agency PTI.
The slogan has earlier been raised in rallies in favour of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act including by BJP leaders. Last month, BJP candidate from Model Town Kapil Mishra raised the slogan during a ‘tiranga march’ in support of the Act in Delhi’s Connaught Place.
The Delhi BJP had then distanced itself from the controversy and said they had nothing to do with Mishra’s march. Mishra was later given a BJP ticket to contest in the Assembly elections.
The slogan was also raised at a pro-CAA rally in Nagpur addressed by Union Minister Nitin Gadkari in December and during violence at the Jawaharlal Nehru campus. Masked men entered the premises of the central university and unleashed violence for close to three hours, chanting slogans — “Desh ke gaddaro ko, goli maaro saalo ko”, “Naxalwad murdabad’ and “Na Maowad, Na Naxalwan, Sabse Upar Rashtrawad”.
With Shaheen Bagh emerging as the centre of anti-CAA protests in Delhi, Home Minister Amit Shah has repeatedly raked up the indefinite protest site in his campaign speeches, urging voters to choose the lotus symbol on voting day, so that protesters have to leave the place by the evening of February 11.
Last week, BJP candidate Kapil Mishra, who called Shaheen Bagh “mini-Pakistan”, was barred from campaigning for 48 hours by the Election Commission. The EC, in its order, had said it had considered “all the documents and relevant facts” and found the tweets violate the Model Code of Conduct.
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