Amit Shah says Delhi polls a battle between ideologies, accuses opponents of ‘appeasement’

Sukrita Baruah
Amit Shah says Delhi polls a battle between ideologies, accuses opponents of ‘appeasement’

Amit Shah went on to ask the gathering, “Are you with Shaheen Bagh?” and said the polls are a “battle between two ideologies”.

Home Minister Amit Shah Friday said the contest for Delhi is between those who attacked agents of terror in Pakistan and those who support protesters at Shaheen Bagh. He was speaking at Pitampura while campaigning for BJP’s candidate from Shakur Basti constituency, S C Vats.

“I have come to say that by voting for Vats sir... you are not just making him an MLA... you will also be determining the future of Delhi and of India’s security. Two clear sides have formed in this election. On one side there is Narendra Modi and the BJP who attacked Pakistani terrorists in Uri and Pulwama. Within 10 days, with surgical strikes and air strikes, (they) entered Pakistan’s home and did the work of killing Pakistani terrorists... On the other side are AAP and the Congress who say ‘we are with Shaheen Bagh’,” he said.

He went on to ask the gathering, “Are you with Shaheen Bagh?” and said the polls are a “battle between two ideologies”.

Shah went on to repeat his accusations against Congress and AAP on votebank and appeasement politics, a refrain at his rallies across Delhi. He also reiterated links between Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, claiming that they echo each other.

Referring to the time of the UPA government at the Centre, he said, “Pakistan se aalia maalia jamaalia used to enter the country. They used to cut off the heads of our soldiers, humiliate us and ‘mauni baba Maunmohan’ would not utter a sound thinking the vote bank will get angry.”

He also spoke about military actions in Uri and Balakot and said, “The very next day Rahul, Mamata, Kejriwal asked for proof... Pakistan’s Prime Minister also asked for proof... Their language is always the same as that of the Pakistan Prime Minister. When (Article) 370 was removed, both say don’t remove it. When we do surgical strikes, both ask for proof. We build Ram Mandir and both say no. We bring CAA, both say no. I just don’t understand what the relationship is between Imran Khan, Rahul Gandhi and Kejriwal.”

AAP minister Satyendar Jain is the current MLA of Shakur Basti. It is also home to the Shakur Basti slum cluster, where 5,000 homes were destroyed in a demolition drive by the railways in December 2015 — a move that prompted the Delhi High Court to pass a landmark judgment last year, in which it laid down principles to be followed for humane evictions.

At the slum, people said they are unaffected by the mobilisation of Shaheen Bagh as an election point. “What do we have to do with Shaheen Bagh? We will want those who can improve our living situation, who we have seen amongst us and who help us,” said Ram Kishor (45), a painter.

Both Kejriwal and Jain are popular in the slum. “When we were sleeping in the cold after our houses were destroyed, Kejriwal came to see us. He gave us blankets, food, and has let us live here in peace after that,” said Deepa (25).

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