Slogans, Opposition Walkout As BJP 'Hate Speech' MPs Speak In Parliament

Anurag Thakur and Parvesh Verma were banned from campaigning for this week's Delhi elections for 72 hours and 96 hours over their incendiary speeches.

BJP MP Anurag Thakur addressed Lok Sabha on Monday.

New Delhi:

The opposition staged a walkout from the Lok Sabha on Monday after BJP MP Parvesh Sahib Singh Verma, pulled up for delivering hate speeches over the last few days ahead of the Delhi elections, was chosen to deliver a motion of thanks to the President of India.

Earlier, junior Finance Minister Anurag Thakur faced slogans of "Goli Maarna Band Karo" or "stop shooting" in parliament on Monday as he responded to questions from lawmakers on the economy. At least 30 lawmakers assembled in the centre of the Lok Sabha waved placards and also shouted "Shame, Shame".

The slogans were in response to the minister's election speech in Delhi last week during which he was seen on video urging a crowd to chant "Goli Maaro S***n Ko" or "shoot the traitors" in reference to protests against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

Mr Verma too had made provocative statements, claiming those who have mounted a weeks-long peaceful sit-in protest at Delhi's Shaheen Bagh against the controversial citizenship law "will enter your houses, rape your sisters and daughters". He also called Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal a terrorist.

However, the minister and the BJP lawmaker had escaped with mild censure from the Election Commission despite three incidents of firing at protesters in Shaheen Bagh and neighbouring Jamia Millia Islamia, the heart of anti-CAA protests in the capital, since then. The government and the BJP have not taken any action against them yet.

In a widely-shared video, Mr Thakur, who was campaigning for BJP candidate Manish Chaudhary, was seen chanting "desh ke gaddaron ko", to which the crowd enthusiastically replied "Goli Maaro Sa***n Ko"; the entire chant translates to "shoot down the traitors who betray the country".

A defiant Anurag Thakur later told reporters who asked him to identify the "traitors": "First you should watch the entire video... Then you should see the mood of the people of Delhi."

The minister and the lawmaker were banned from campaigning for this week's Delhi elections for 72 hours and 96 hours respectively and will also be off the BJP's "star campaigner" list, the Election Commission ruled on Thursday. However, once the ban expires, Mr Thakur and Mr Verma will be free to campaign once more.

The Jamia Millia Islamia Teachers Association has blamed Anurag Thakur for the firing incidents near the university, in one of which a student was injured on Saturday, saying nothing can be more "anti-national" than a minister inciting citizens to indulge in violence from a public platform.

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