“I think Amit Shah ji was joking," said Aam Aadmi Party leader and Delhi Dialogue and Development Commission Vice Chairperson Jasmine Shah, responding to Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s comment on hate speech made by some BJP leaders during the Delhi election campaign.
Speaking at a Times Now event on Thursday, 13 February, Amit Shah said certain hate remarks “should not have been made.” He also said that no BJP leader had made the comment that “sisters and daughters would be raped.”
Shah was making an oblique reference to the comments made by BJP’s West Delhi MP Parvesh Verma who, while talking about Shaheen Bagh protesters, had said "Delhi’s residents will have to decide carefully. These people will enter your homes, pick up your sisters and daughters, rape them and kill them.” Verma had also called Kejriwal “a terrorist.”
Jasmine Shah also said that such hate speech was made repeatedly by Verma, under the watch of Amit Shah, who was leading the campaign. “Why did he speak after the election got over and results were declared,” asked Jasmine Shah.
Here’s the full text of the interview with him:
Several promises were made in the AAP’s ‘Guarantee Card’. What’s the most important one?
The ten guarantees made by us is part of an integrated vision to make Delhi a world-class city. There’s nothing more important or less important in it. Health and education has been a focus area for us, and we will finish the work we started in these areas. Transport, road traffic and cleanliness are some of the new areas we want to focus on.
How would you define the promise of a world-class education system?
There are two aspects here. The first is world-class infrastructure in terms of buildings and other facilities, where we have already built 12,000 classrooms. On the qualitative front, we have done a lot of work on the happiness curriculum, entrepreneurship curriculum. Soon, we will introduce Desh Bhakti curriculum. We will also work on increasing seat capacity of higher education.
How does AAP look at Deshbhakti?
For AAP, Constitution is the biggest guiding document. We want children in Delhi schools to imbibe and understand constitutional values of equality liberty and fraternity. Moreover, we believe that true patriotism lies in taking the country on the path of development, as defined by our freedom fighters.
What about air pollution and increasing toxicity of Yamuna?
Air pollution has been a major focus for us in the last five years. In the coming year, we will take Delhi’s public transport system to the next level. We are going to add 4,000 additional buses, out of which around 1,000 will be electric. Once public transport becomes efficient, it will have a positive impact on the environment and will reduce pollution. We are also thinking about improving last-mile connectivity by introducing electric two-wheeler taxis. We will also working on end-to-end greenscaping to trap dust.
AAP is trying to redefine nationalism. Will it help the party at a national level?
Our vision is not to take AAP to the national stage. Our vision is to show India how the people of Delhi, despite a divisive and polarised campaign by the BJP, have voted for us on the basis of work. If people across India, after witnessing the model of development, demand better schools and hospitals in their own states, then the country would develop. This is true nationalism for us.
Shouldn’t young faces be inducted into the government?
The government has a tenure of five years. This vote has been for the ‘Kejriwal model’ of development. The ministers who’ve put their grit and sweat into making this model a reality must be rewarded. Over a period of time, everyone will get an opportunity.