Amit Shah in Vaishali on Thursday. (Express photo by Pappi Sharma)
BJP president and Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday said that the NDA would contest the 2020 Bihar Assembly elections under the leadership of Chief Minister and JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar, and the RJD should not be under any illusion because the NDA is united.
Addressing a gathering at Vaishaligarh, Shah also said that those opposing the new citizenship law were “anti-Dalit” and “looking only at their vote banks”.
He blamed the Congress and TMC for violence in the wake of protests against the CAA, and asked the audience to give a missed call on a phone number to express solidarity with the new law amid slogans like ‘Bharat mata ki jai’. The minister said that human rights champions should know that the beneficiaries of CAA would be Dalits and people whose rights were taken away.
Shah also said that those raising anti-national slogans in JNU should be in jail. “Should they not be sent to jail? The (Arvind) Kejriwal government is not making recommendations of filing cases against those shouting anti-national slogans,” he said.
Regarding the future course of the NDA, he said, “We will fight the Bihar election under Nitish Kumar. The BJP-JD(U) tie is unbreakable. No one should think of making a dent in it. Laluji (Prasad) must not nurse any dream (of breaking the NDA)... There used to be theft of fodder for cows, now we are working for protection of cows.”
Exhorting people to go to door to door to clear misconceptions about the CAA, the minister said that even Mahatma Gandhi had spoken against India shielding religious minorities. “Jawaharlal Nehru also said as much. If the Congress cannot listen to Gandhi, they can at least listen to their leaders. The Ashok Gehlot government had spoken about protecting religious minorities. If they (Congress) do so, it is alright. If we do so, we are deemed communal,” said Shah.
Pointing out that former Congress president Rahul Gandhi, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and RJD chief Lalu Prasad had been vehemently opposing CAA, he said, “They should also tell us who were responsible for Partition on religious lines... Most religious minorities are Dalits and poor.”
Lauding the Narendra Modi government for abrogating Article 370, he said, “Should Ram temple not be built in Ayodhya? Within four months, we will start work on construction of a sky-touching temple at Ayodhya.”
Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi said: “RJD has been doing vote bank politics. The more the people oppose CAA, the more Modi and Shah will get stronger.... Our country has made Muslims President of India, Sonia Gandhi a Christian president of AICC... Are there such examples in Pakistan?”
Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said India would never discriminate on religious lines, but it cannot be allowed to become a dharamshala (shelter) for everyone.