New Delhi: Shaheen Bagh, biryani, bullets, Article 370 and Pakistan — these were the pillars of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s speeches at two rallies in the national capital Sunday, just six days before the Delhi assembly polls on 8 February.
He asked voters to install a BJP government in Delhi, which would promote all religions, but added that where “boli” (words) don’t work, “goli” (bullet) does.
“Delhi needs to have a government like ours that promotes all religions and allows people of all religions to celebrate,” Adityanath said, adding that before he came to power in UP, Hindus were not allowed to celebrate their festivals and that Kanwariyas used to get beaten up.
“Kanwariyas used to be assaulted by police, they didn’t get DJ licences, they couldn’t blow on conch-shells (shankh). Our BJP government gave permissions for everything.
“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).”
‘People venting anger against 370, Ayodhya temple’
Adityanath was speaking at Saurabh Vihar, which stands just about six kilometres away from Shaheen Bagh in the Badarpur assembly constituency. He later held a second rally at Tughlakabad, also not far from the protest venue, where he repeated the same rhetoric.
The Uttar Pradesh chief minister said at the Saurabh Vihar rally that the Shaheen Bagh protest, which has gone on for over 50 days, was an excuse for people to vent their anger against the scrapping of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir and the construction of Lord Ram’s Temple in Ayodhya. He also alleged that Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal was behind the protest.
“(Arvind) Kejriwal and his mandali (group) are trying to fan unrest and anarchy by tacitly supporting the Shaheen Bagh protests. These protests are nothing but a way for some section of people to show their objections against the scrapping of Article 370 and the construction of Lord Ram’s grand temple in Ayodhya,” Adityanath said, to thundering applause from the crowd, which numbered around 15,000, according to police sources.
Bringing “biryani” into the political discourse once again, Adityanath said the people of Delhi need to decide whether they wanted a Kejriwal-led government which “feeds biryani” to protesters and tries to create anarchy, or a government that believes in faith as well as development.
“Kejriwal likes to feed the protesters in Shaheen Bagh biryani, not to work for the people of Delhi,” he said, also accusing the AAP and the Congress of encouraging “anti-India Naxal elements”.
More attacks on Kejriwal
Adityanath was late for the rally by more than an hour, and blamed the Shaheen Bagh protest for his delay, as the road that connects Noida and Delhi has been blocked. This statement also received a loud cheer from the crowd, which had gathered at around 2.30 pm to await his arrival, which was supposed to be at 5pm. He eventually arrived at around 6:30pm.
Attacking Kejriwal further, the UP CM said whenever the BJP government does anything good for the country, it is Kejriwal who feels the most pain, along with Pakistan.
“When the talk is about removing Article 370 from the country, the ones who feel the most pain are Pakistan and Kejriwal,” he said.
Adityanath said people are facing problems like taking longer routes due to the Shaheen Bagh protest because the Delhi government is unable to take a “strong step”. He even alleged that people working in multinational firms in Noida and Greater Noida are literally paying the price for the protest, because their salaries are being deducted due to arriving late for work.
He added that the AAP government has been unable to provide clean water to the people of Delhi, but has been able to open liquor shops. Taunting Kejriwal for his propensity for coughing, he said the Delhi CM has made Yamuna water dirty, and has been unable to control pollution, which is why the people of Delhi are now also “coughing like him”.
He even blamed Kejriwal for the violence at Jamia Millia Islamia last month.
The crowd at the rally repeatedly chanted ‘Jai Shri Ram’ at the rally, and Adityanath also concluded his speech by raising the same slogan.