- Will remove protesters in an hour if BJP wins Delhi polls, he said
- Will not spare a single mosque built on government land, he added
- BJP has made anti-CAA protests in Delhi a key election issue
Protesters on a sit-in against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) at Delhi's Shaheen Bagh will be cleared in an hour if the BJP comes to power in Delhi, a parliamentarian from the party has announced, lacing his comments with a sensational accusation: "They will enter your houses, rape your sisters and daughters".
"This is not just another election. It is an election to decide the unity of a nation. If the BJP comes to power on February 11, you will not find a single protester within an hour. And within a month, we will not spare a single mosque built on government land," Parvesh Sahib Singh Verma said.
Elaborating his remarks to news agency ANI on Tuesday, he said, "Lakhs of people gather there (Shaheen Bagh)... They will enter your houses, rape your sisters and daughters, kill them. There's time today, (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi ji and Amit Shah won't come to save you tomorrow."
An MP from West Delhi, Mr Verma was campaigning for next month's Delhi assembly election in Vikaspuri.
#WATCH: BJP MP Parvesh Verma says, "...Lakhs of people gather there (Shaheen Bagh). People of Delhi will have to think & take a decision. They'll enter your houses, rape your sisters&daughters, kill them. There's time today, Modi ji & Amit Shah won't come to save you tomorrow..." pic.twitter.com/1G801z5ZbM— ANI (@ANI) January 28, 2020
For more than a month, over 200 women have been joined by hundreds of others every day at South East Delhi's Shaheen Bagh at a sit-in protest against the CAA which promises citizenship to only non-Muslim refugees from three neighbouring countries.
Besides making religion a test of citizenship for the first time in violation of the constitution, the CAA along with the planned National Register of Citizens (NRC) can be used to target Muslims who are unable to prove their lineage, critics say.
The government, however, says the law is necessary to help those who have faced religious persecution and will not endanger the citizenship of any Indian.
Facing unrelenting anger against the CAA, the BJP has decided to make the most of the difficult situation and hinge its Delhi election campaign on the Shaheen Bagh protest, sources said on Monday. Sources say top BJP leaders feel the party can succeed in isolating AAP and also cutting down Congress with a new "Shaheen Bagh" blitz.
Parvesh Verma's statement appeared to echo that idea. In the past, the lawmaker had written to Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal about "illegal" mosques and graveyards mushrooming in the city. A report by the Delhi Minorities Commission, however, found the claim to be false.