No ‘Current’, No ‘Gaddar’: Delhi Rejects BJP’s Divisive Politics
A look at statements by political leaders which made headlines – but ultimately, didn’t deliver votes.
Video Editor: Ashutosh Bhardwaj
AAP is set to return to power for the third time, winning 62 seats in the 70-seat Assembly. The victory comes at the end of an election campaign marked by polarising speeches by BJP leaders, including Prime Minister Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and UP CM Yogi Adityanath.
AAP’s campaign, on the other hand, focused on the government’s work in the field of education and health.
By handing a resounding mandate to AAP, Delhi has delivered a verdict against BJP’s divisive politics. Here’s a look at some of the statements made by leaders of the saffron outfit which made headlines, but ultimately, failed to translate into votes.
'Press Button With So Much Anger... Current Should Reach Shaheen Bagh': Shah
In a speech in Babarpur on 27 January 2020, Union Home Minister Amit Shah took a jibe at the Shaheen Bagh protest and said, “Press the button of lotus so hard that the current makes the Shaheen Bagh protesters run away on the very evening of 8 February.”
'Desh ke Gaddaro Ko...’: Anurag Thakur
In an election meeting at Rithala on 27 January, Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur said, “Desh ke gaddaro ko...” with the crowds chanting “...goli maaro saalon ko!” to complete the controversial slogan.
A day after he made this comment, Thakur was pulled up by the chief electoral officer of Delhi and sought a report from the returning officer of Rithala constituency. The ‘Anurag Thakur’ effect was also debated when a few days after his speech, exhorting people to “shoot traitors,” firing incidents were reported in Jamia and Shaheen Bagh.
'Shaheen Bagh Protesters Will Enter Your Homes': Parvesh Sharma
BJP MP Parvesh Verma sparked a controversy with his hate speech in the Delhi elections campaign when he said, “Lakhs of people gather at Shaheen Bagh and this fire can anytime reach households of Delhi. People of Delhi need to think about it and decide. These people will enter your house, will abduct your sisters and mothers, rape them, kill them, that’s why today is the moment.”
'Seelampur, Jamia & Shaheen Bagh Are an Experiment': PM Modi
In a rally in East Delhi’s Karkardooma on 3 February, just a few days ahead of Assembly elections in Delhi, PM Modi said, “Be it Seelampur, Jamia (Nagar) or Shaheen Bagh, for the last several days, there have been protests over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. Are these protests coincidental? No, this is not coincidental, it is an experiment. There is politics behind this.”
'Kejriwal Feeds Biryani to Shaheen Bagh Protesters': Adityanath
Continuing with the BJP’s strategy of attacking Shaheen Bagh, UP CM Yogi Adityanath said in a rally at Vikaspuri, “Why a Pakistani minister is making statements in support of Arvind Kejriwal? Because he knows that only Kejriwal can feed biryani to protesters at Shaheen Bagh.”
'Arvind Kejriwal is a Terrorist': Prakash Javadekar
In a personal attack on Kejriwal, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said in a press conference, “There is plenty of proof that Kejriwal is a terrorist.”
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