Amit Shah at a BJP meeting in Delhi Saturday. (Express Photo: Amit Mehra)
Home Minister Amit Shah Saturday said there should be “no Shaheen Bagh” in Delhi and appealed to people to choose the lotus symbol on voting day, so that protesters have to leave the place by the evening of February 11, when results are declared.
Addressing a gathering of the BJP’s social media volunteers at an event called ‘Jeet Ki Goonj’ at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Shah said, “Hum aisa Dilli chahte hain jo pradushan mukt ho, har ghar mein jahan par swachch peene ka paani mile, 24-hour bijli uplabdh ho, bachon ki achchi shiksha ki suvidha ho, jhuggi jhopri se mukt ho, anudhikrit colony ka naam-o-nishaan na rahe, rapid transport system ho, cycle track ho, vyawastha jam se mukt ho, aur kabhi Shaheen Bagh na ho — aisa Dilli chahte hain (We want a Delhi which is free of pollution, every household has clean water to drink, 24-hour electricity, facilities for children’s education, no jhuggi jhopris or unauthorised colonies, a rapid transport system, cycle tracks, world-class roads, where there are no traffic jams and there is never a Shaheen Bagh — we want such a Delhi),” he said, adding that such a Delhi can be made when people come out of misleading advertisements and cast their support for Narendra Modi and the lotus symbol.
Since December 15, Shaheen Bagh has been the centre of protests, led by women, against the Citizenship Amendment Act and the proposed National Register of Citizens. While the Congress has backed the protest, the AAP has stayed away from the site, though Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia has said he stands with the protesters. The BJP has been critical of the protesters, with several leaders calling for their removal.
Hitting out at his opponents, he said: “Ye abhi bhi kehte hain hum Shaheen Bagh ke saath hain. Aaj ek video prasarit hua hai, dekh lo zara. Aapko kehte hue sharam bhi nahi aati, voton ke laalach ne aapki aankhon mein patti baandh di hai (Even now they say they are with Shaheen Bagh. A video has come out today, you can see it. They have no shame, in their greed for votes, they have blindfolded themselves).”
Addressing the party’s social media volunteers, he said, “February 8 ke subah parivar ke saath, 10 baje se pehle kamal ke nishaan par button dabainge?... Aur mitron, itni zor se dabana woh button ki current se hi sham ko woh Shaheen Bagh waale uth kar chale jaayein (On the morning of February 8, will you, along with your family, press the lotus symbol before 10 am... and friends, press the button so hard that its current forces the protesters at Shaheen Bagh to leave the place by evening).”
The speech began on a similar note, with Shah asking people to chant Bharat Mata ki Jai so loudly that people across India supporting Shaheen Bagh can hear it.
“Mere saath boliye Bharat Mata ki Jai, zor se awaaz ke saath boliye, prachand awaaz ke sath boliye, desh bhar mein jo Shaheen Bagh ka samarthan karne waale hain, un tak pahuche aisi awaaz se boliye,” Shah said.
Shah also took aim at Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, saying that he won the 2015 Delhi Assembly polls by “misleading people”. “What happened after that? What happened in Varanasi, Punjab, Haryana? They lost and he will fail in Delhi too this time,” Shah said.
“The people of Delhi have made their decision for 2020 as well. The trend is set to continue. We won 88 per cent of the booths in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls,” he added. “When you support the BJP, you support the promise to secure the national boundaries of India. When you support the BJP, you are supporting the mission to make India a global figurehead.”