Framing the Delhi election as a fight against those doing “vote bank politics”, Home Minister Amit Shah said that the BJP is not afraid of any vote bank. Shah was speaking at North East Delhi’s Mustafabad while campaigning for the party’s candidate, sitting MLA Jagdish Pradhan.
“There are two ideologies facing each other. On one side there’s Modi ji’s ideology of Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas. On the other side, there’s the ideology of those who do greedy vote bank politics and create riots in the country…”
He also accused Congress and AAP of causing riots in Delhi, and alluded to deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia’s statement that he stands with Shaheen Bagh protesters. In response, Sisodia said: “If there are any disturbances in law and order, the Home Minister is answerable. Unfortunately, the Home Minister is busy looking for CCTVs and WiFi in Delhi; clearly he doesn’t understand that there are law and order issues. And as far as this protest is concerned, I think the protest is about certain demands concerning the Home Minister, and I think he should speak to them (protesters).”
Bringing up the abrogation of Article 370 in Kashmir, Shah said, “In all these years have you seen riots in Delhi? Didn’t you see them suddenly? You know who is behind them, you know who is participating in them. Even today they say that they are with Shaheen Bagh. They want their vote bank… People in Delhi are not safe. If people give them control of Delhi again, then our safety is in god’s hands.”
“People of Mustafabad — whether you are from Uttaranchal, Uttarakhand, Delhi, Gujarat, UP or Bengal — don’t you all want Kashmir to be a part of India forever? For 70 years the Congress kept Article 370 and two flags flew within Kashmir. Seventy years ago, Jawaharlal Nehru applied Article 370. No one had the courage to lay a finger on it. Why not? Because they were afraid of their vote bank. We BJP are not afraid of any vote bank.”
He added: “For 500 years, citizens of the country wanted that a Ram temple that touches the sky be built in Ayodhya… but they were once again being stopped by their vote bank… We are not scared of whether we will get votes or not, we know we will get your votes.”
Mustafabad is one of the five constituencies from which both AAP and Congress have fielded Muslim candidates. Within the constituency itself, a women-led protest against CAA and NRC has been taking place for the last week.
Before Shah joined the meeting, East Karawal Nagar councillor Puneet Sharma said the name of the constituency should be changed from Mustafabad to Shiv Vihar, which is the name of the pocket in which the meeting had taken place. Other local leaders referred to the contest in the constituency as a fight between “two Alis” and “one Bajrangbali”.
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