- Voting for BJP in Delhi will prevent Shaheen Bagh-like incidents, he said
- Hundreds of women have been protesting in Shaheen Bagh over CAA
- Mr Shah has also attacked AAP, Congress for supporting anti-CAA protests
Voting for the BJP in the upcoming Delhi election "will prevent thousands of incidents like Shaheen Bagh", Union Home Minister Amit Shah said on Sunday, training his guns at opponents of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.
"When you press the button (on the voting machine) on February 8, do so with such anger that its current is felt at Shaheen Bagh," the top BJP leader said in Hindi at an election rally in Delhi.
"Your vote to the BJP candidate will make Delhi and the country safe and prevent thousands of incidents like Shaheen Bagh," Mr Shah was quoted as saying by news agency PTI while campaigning for the BJP candidate in Delhi's Babarpur constituency.
Hundreds of women and children have been braving Delhi's unusually cold winter at Shaheen Bagh in southeast Delhi for over a month now, becoming the face of countrywide protests against the controversial law enacted in December.
On Friday too, Amit Shah reportedly made similar statements on the Shaheen Bagh protests. "Push the button with such force that the current makes the protesters leave Shaheen Bagh on February 8," he had said while addressing the "Jeet ki Goonj" programme at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
"Only those who despise Gandhi-ji would want to get rid of Shaheen Bagh. Shaheen Bagh represents the essence of Mahatma Gandhi," senior Congress leader and former Union Minister P Chidambaram said in a series of tweets. "Getting rid of Shaheen Bagh amounts to getting rid of Ahimsa and Satyagraha," he said.
Home Minister seeks votes to 'get rid of Shaheen Bagh'.— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) January 26, 2020
Only those who despise Gandhiji would want to get rid of Shaheen Bagh. Shaheen Bagh represents the essence of Mahatma Gandhi.
Getting rid of Shaheen Bagh amounts to getting rid of Ahimsa and Satyagraha.
Mr Shah's address was briefly interrupted when a man sitting in the gathering stood up when the BJP leader was speaking citizenship law and started raising slogans against the CAA. Mr Shah first asked him to sit down and after some time, amid commotion, he asked security men to escort him out safely. The BJP leader resumed his speech after chanting "Bharat Mata ki Jai".
The Citizenship Amendment Act, for the first time, makes religion the test of citizenship in India. While the government claims that it will help minorities from three Muslim-dominated countries get citizenship if they fled to India because of religious persecution before 2015, critics say it is designed to discriminate against Muslims and violates the secular principles of the constitution.
On Sunday, Amit Shah also attacked the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Congress. "Are you their vote bank? Why do Rahul Baba and Kejriwal want to save tukde tukde gang that raised slogans for fragmentation of the country. They do this due to fear for their vote bank," he said at another rally.
Delhi will vote on February 8 with results due February 11.
While Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party is seeking a second term in power, the BJP is seeking to come to power in Delhi after two decades and has brought the CAA at the centre stage of its campaigning.
The AAP claimed a record majority in 2015 polls, winning 67 of the 70 seats, and is targeting a clean sweep this time.
(With inputs from PTI and ANI)