New Delhi: The BJP-led NDA alliance partners — the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) and the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) — have raised objections to the alleged hate speeches made by BJP leaders in poll-bound Delhi, targeting those opposing the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
Talking to ThePrint, SAD’s Rajya Sabha MP Balwinder Singh Bhunder said we can’t brand Muslims as “Shaheen Bagh community”.
“Being a minority party, we can’t justify such language in politics. This country belongs to everyone. We can’t brand the Muslims as Shaheen Bagh community,” he told ThePrint.
“I have said in the NDA meeting (that happened on Friday last week in Delhi) also that this deadlock (protests happening over the CAA) should end. Certain political parties are taking advantage of this situation, but the government should not escalate the situation,” Bhunder added.
Another Rajya Sabha MP of the party, Naresh Gujral, echoed similar sentiments.
“How can we justify such hate-mongering? A few BJP leaders are using highly objectionable language. Our (party) president has earlier demanded inclusion of Muslims within the ambit of the CAA. How can we brand one community as anti-national?”
Can’t isolate a community on religious lines: Chirag Paswan
Talking to ThePrint, LJP president Chirag Paswan said nobody can justify such language and that public representatives have greater responsibility to maintain the decorum and sanctity of the language they use.
“Nobody, not even an alliance partner, will justify such language. In public life, every word has a meaning. We should think about the impact of such language before speaking. We have never done politics of hate,” he said.
Paswan told ThePrint that whoever is doing politics in the name of Shaheen Bagh — whether it is the opposition or the BJP — is dangerous.
“The country is moving in a very critical phase. You can’t isolate a community on the lines of religion and caste,” he told ThePrint.
Paswan, however, also attacked the opposition for “misleading” the minority community on the CAA, but also added that it’s the “collective responsibility” of both the opposition and the ruling party to not add fuel to the fire. “Otherwise, history will never forgive us,” he added.
Paswan was in Delhi last week to campaign for the BJP. He shared the stage with Bihar Chief Minister and JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar, and BJP national president J.P. Nadda at Sangam Vihar Sunday. He, however, didn’t say a word on the CAA.
The JD(U), another BJP ally, also seems to be distancing itself from the ongoing CAA protests in the country as Nitish Kumar refrained from speaking on the contentious law during his rallies with Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Nadda in Delhi Sunday.
The controversial speeches
Home Minister Amit Shah, Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar, Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath, Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur are among a series of BJP leaders who have courted controversy over the past weeks for allegedly making hate speeches against the opposition parties and those opposing the CAA.
On 25 January, Shah had asked people to “press the button of lotus so hard that the current makes the Shaheen Bagh protesters run away”.
Thakur was banned from election campaigning for asking people during a rally to raise an incendiary slogan — “shoot the traitors” — after he lashed out at anti-CAA protesters.
West Delhi MP Parvesh Verma was also barred from campaigning after he said Shaheen Bagh protesters will “enter your house… abduct your sisters and mothers, rape them, kill them the way militants had treated Kashmiri Pandits”.
At a rally in Delhi, Adityanath had said those who do not listen to words will surely understand the language of the bullet.
“We are not the ones who obstruct anyone’s festival or faith. Everyone should be able to celebrate their festivals, but within the law. But if someone shoots a gun at followers of Shiva, or indulges in rioting, and doesn’t listen to words, then he will listen to ‘goli’ (bullet).”
BJP leaders didn’t even mince words while attacking their main opposition in Delhi — Arvind Kejriwal
On Monday, Javadekar called Kejriwal a terrorist.
“Kejriwal now makes an innocent face as he asks whether he is a terrorist. You are a terrorist, there is plenty of proof for it. You had yourself said you are an anarchist. There is not much difference between an anarchist and a terrorist.”
This came days after BJP’s Parvesh Verma referred to Kejriwal as a terrorist.
“In Delhi, many ‘natwarlals’ and terrorists like Kejriwal are hiding. I don’t understand if we should fight with terrorists in Kashmir or with terrorist Kejriwal in Delhi,” Verma had said while addressing a rally on 29 January in the national capital.