After an anti-encroachment drive was carried out in Delhi's Jahangirpuri on Wednesday, 20 April, morning, a number of Opposition leaders, including Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, reacted to the spate of targeted demolition drives in the country.
"This is a demolition of India’s constitutional values. This is state-sponsored targeting of poor and minorities. BJP must bulldoze the hatred in their hearts instead," Gandhi said in a tweet.
The Congress party, on its Twitter handle wrote, "The bulldozer of hatred can run on the board of 'My India is great', but not on ideology!! India is great...was..and will be... Together we all should raise our voice against this BJP hatred."
A number of other Opposition leaders have condemned the conduction of anti-encroachment drive in Delhi's Jahangirpuri, which was stopped an hour after the Supreme Court ordered that it be halted on Wednesday.
'Why Not Run Bulldozers Over Chinese Encroachment in Arunachal, Ladakh?': Opposition Leaders Hit Out at BJP
Congress spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill questioned why the central government wasn't running bulldozers over the Chinese encroachments in Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh.
Meanwhile, CPI(M) Leader Brinda Karat stood in front of a bulldozer to halt the demolition drive in Jahangirpuri at around noon on Wednesday.
'Run Bulldozer Over Home Minister's House To Stop Riots': AAP's Raghav Chadha, Manish Sisodia
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Raghav Chadha said that a bulldozer should be used to demolish Home Minister Amit Shah's house if the communal violence across the country is to be stopped.
"In 2020, there were clashes in Northeast Delhi. Today, there are clashes in Jahangirpuri. The BJP creates these riots. The home minister is getting these riots done. Run a bulldozer over his house, the riots will stop," Chadha said.
"The Bharatiya Janata Party is orchestrating riots and goondagardi across the country. If you want to stop all of this, then you should run bulldozers on the headquarters of the BJP. I give you a guarantee, that if bulldozers are used on BJP's headquarters, these riots will stop. What kind of atmosphere have the created in Delhi?"Raghav Chadha, AAP MP
Alluding to the clashes that broke out in Jahangirpuri during a Hanuman Jayanti procession on Saturday, "The BJP has settled Bangladeshis and Rohingyas in many pockets, so that they can be used to create unrest. If you want to know where the BJP is planning its next riots, ask them where they have settled Bangladeshis, then you will know."
Further, the AAP MP alleged that the BJP had facilitated the construction of illegal settlements in Delhi.
"The BJP has been in the MCD for the past 15 years. They have accepted bribes and gotten illegal constructions done. Today, with the illegal constructions they're bulldozing, the houses of those BJP ministers should be razed who got these illegal constructions done."
"If you want to see an end to this goondagardi, the best and the simplest solution is to run a bulldozer over the BJP headquarters," AAP leader and Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia said.
"The BJP has settled Bangladeshis and Rohingyas across the country, in various areas. Then there is a pre-scripted goondaism that follows," Sisodia said. "The illegal constructions that were razed today, why were the constructed by the MCD over the past years?" he questioned.
BJP Housing Bangladeshis, Rohingyas To Trigger Riots: AAP's Atishi
AAP leader Atishi also hit out at the BJP, saying that the party was responsible for incessant riots and hooliganism across the country. She also added that the BJP had housed Bangladeshis and Rohingyas in different areas to trigger riots.
"The BJP is saying that demolishing the properties of alleged rioters in Jahangirpuri and other places will lead to the cessation of violence. But the party itself was getting these riots conducted - not only in Delhi, but in the entire country," she said, adding, "The party had housed Bangladeshis and Rohingyas in different parts of India to create communal violence and hooliganism."
Reiterating the comments made by Chadha and deputy chief minister Sisodia, she said that the only way to stop riots in the country was to use a bulldozer to demolish the BJP's headquarters and the home minister's residence.
"Home Minister Amit Shah is getting riots conducted across the country. The day a bulldozer is used to demolish his house along with the BJP's headquarters, riots across the country will come to a halt," Atishi said.
The AAP's Sanjay Singh also shared a video on Twitter and demanded the demolition of the home minister's residence.
"BJP is causing riots all over the country, in Delhi also BJP has caused riots. If riots are to be stopped in the country, then get bulldozers used on BJP's headquarters and Amit Shah's house," Singh tweeted.
Muslims Undergoing 'Collective Punishment': Owaisi
Meanwhile, All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) President Asaduddin Owaisi said that Muslims were going through collective punishment throughout the country, and that the ruling party was engaging in "targeted demolition."
Owaisi also visited Jahangirpuri on Wednesday evening.
"Legally, a new bulldozer procession has been taken out. Muslims are undergoing collective punishment... You demolished the shops in front of mosques, why not in front of temples? This is a targeted demolition. I condemn it," Owaisi was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
He added that he was grateful that the Supreme Court issued a stay order with regard to the demolition in Jahangirpuri. "I'm grateful that the Supreme Court took notice of it and gave an immediate stay," he said, adding that despite the court's orders, the authorities did not halt the demolition drive.
The AIMIM chief also slammed claims that the people whose shops were destroyed were Bangladeshis and Rohingyas.
"These people are calling the public Bangladeshi and Rohingya? They are Indians," Owaisi asserted.
Earlier, he had written on Twitter, "BJP has declared war against the poorest. In the name of encroachment it’s going to destroy homes in Delhi like UP & MP. No notice, no opportunity to go to court, simply punishing poor Muslims for daring to stay alive. Arvind Kejriwal must clarify his dubious role."
'We Want to Unite People, Not Bulldoze Them': Mamata
While speaking at the sixth Bengal Global Business Summit (BGBS) in Kolkata on Thursday, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that strength lies in unity and not in dividing people.
She said, "We don’t want to bulldoze. We don’t want to divide the people, we want to unite the people. Unity is our main strength, culturally you will be very sound if you are united. But, if you are divided, it will fall."
Tejashwi Yadav Slams Centre for Demolitions
Meanwhile, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav slammed the Centre and accused the Narendra Modi government of targetting and demolishing structures of a particular community in Delhi's Jahangirpuri.
He tweeted on Wednesday, "China built two villages in the Indian territory but the Centre fears speaking two words about it. Will the bulldozers run only after looking at caste and religion or will they also worry about the unity, integrity and constitution of the nation?"
He asked, "If there is illegal construction then what was the government doing for so many years?"
(With inputs from ANI.)