New Delhi: Union Home Minister Amit Shah during an election campaign rally ahead of the State Assembly polls, at Kondali in New Delhi, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020. (PTI Photo)(PTI2_5_2020_000275B)
While all top leaders will be seen reaching out to the residents, motormouth BJP MP Parvesh Verma will remain absent as EC gagged him for 24 hours for the second time. This time for his remarks against chief minister Arvind Kejriwal. Another known BJP face, Sambit Patra, has also been issued notice by the Election Commission, giving him time till 5pm today to send his reply for violating model code of conduct (MCC). The leader landed in a soup over his statement to a news channel. “These people will enter your homes and hit you, same people, who were responsible for the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits. Who are these people? That day is not far away when these people will enter your homes and hit you,” he had said, referring to Shaheen Bagh anti-CAA protesters.
On the penultimate day of campaigning for the Delhi polls on Wednesday, the AAP, the Congress and the BJP slugged it out over issues ranging from citizenship law, appeasement politics and unemployment. The Congress fielded its leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to attack the AAP and the BJP, even as war of words escalated between the BJP and the AAP which traded barbs over the Shaheen Bagh shooter.
On Tuesday, police had said that Kapil Baisala, the man who opened fire at Shaheen Bagh protest site last week, was an AAP worker. Addressing a press conference, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that if Baisala was even remotely connected to the his party then he should be given a “double punishment”. “I am not aware of his (Baisala’s ties) with the any political party. If he is even remotely connected to the AAP, he should be given double punishment. There should be no compromise on national security,” he said.
Attacking Home Minister Amit Shah, Kejriwal said that sending police officers for a press conference exposed his “ill-intent”. Meanwhile, a BJP delegation, headed by Union minister Prakash Javadekar, met the Election Commission seeking an FIR against AAP leaders, citing the firing by an alleged AAP worker near Shaheen Bagh protest here.
“The police have revealed that the person who fired had joined the AAP. There are photos of AAP leader Sanjay Singh and others welcoming him. This is an open and shut case of a conspiracy to instigate two communities and create vote bank in one of them. The AAP’s plan was to disturb communal amity. We have given all the proof to the EC,” said Javadekar, who is his party’s in charge for the Delhi polls.
Addressing a rally in Kondli in east Delhi, Shah said the polls were a contest between two ideologies and results will be a shocker to everyone. He said the AAP and the Congress opposed the BJP on issues like Citizenship Amendment Act, Ram temple in Ayodhya, abrogation of provisions of Article 370 due to fear of their “vote bank”. “Are you their vote bank,” he asked the crowd which said no. “Who is their vote bank,” he again asked the gathering that replied, “Shaheen Bagh”.
“Delhi elections are not a contest between two parties. You have to choose between two ideologies — Rahul Baba, Kejriwal and the company which supports Shaheen Bagh or Modi who is safeguarding the country,” he said.
Shah also attacked Kejriwal accusing him of being “number one liar” and alleged that the AAP government failed to fulfil its promises. He promised to grant sanction to prosecute JNU case accused Kanhaiya Kumar and Umar Khalid, and Sharjeel Imam, who was booked under sedition charges, within one hour of the BJP forming government in Delhi.
Meanwhile Rahul Gandhi hit out at Shah, saying that people should not listen to him as his speeches contain “only trash”. Addressing poll rallies in Kondli and Chandni Chowk assembly constituencies of Delhi, the Congress leader claimed that unlike the leaders of other parties, he never lied in his speeches. “The speeches of PM (Narendra) Modi, (Delhi Chief Minister) Arvind Kejriwal are nothing but full of lies,” Gandhi said.
“I have been in politics for 15 years. You can listen to any of my speeches, you won’t find a single lie. You listen to Modi, Kejriwal, Shah…leave it. Don’t listen to Shah, they (his speeches) contain only trash,” he said.
Rahul Gandhi launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying the PM does not want the youth to get employment as it works like oxygen for his politics.
Gandhi said there was no need for the prime minister to give lessons on nationalism and he should explain why was he not able to provide employment to the youth. He said before Modi came to power in 2014, there was no Hindu-Muslim divide in the country from 2004-2014 but then “he comes from Gujarat and spreads poison”.
“The youth now does not know what he has in store for the future. He has fear in his heart. Narendra Modi does not want the youth to get employment because unemployment is oxygen for his politics,” he said.
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra attacked BJP leaders, saying their character can be defined by the kind of slogans they raise, and claimed that the AAP was copying former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit’s development model.
She also accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal of being “hungry for publicity”. “Slogans tell character. Those who worked in the nation’s interest can be identified by their slogans. Our (Congress) slogans were ‘Jai jawan, jai kisan’, ‘Mai yuva hoon’, ‘Mera ek sapna hai’, ‘Aaram haram hai’, ‘Roti, kapda, makaan’,” the Congress leader said.
“Their (BJP’s) slogans are ‘Goli maro; khoon se tilak karo, boli nahi goli. Ye desh jodne wale nare hain’? (Are these slogans in favour of bringing the country together),” she said at a poll rally in Chandni Chowk.
The Congress general secretary also said that Dikshit during her tenure as chief minister had developed Delhi into what it is today. Attacking the BJP, she said, “What kind of politics is this? Violence is used in response to truth and non-violence. They spoil and ruin instead of making and enhancing.”