Arvind Kejriwal took a swipe at Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari this morning, declaring the Bihar-born MP would be among the first required to leave the city if the NRC were to be carried out in the national capital. Mr Tiwari, who has frequently called for a verification drive like the one in Assam that excluded 19 million people, repeated the demand after a journalist was assaulted in a South Delhi neighbourhood on Sunday evening in an attack he attributed to "infiltrators".
"If NRC (National Register of Citizens) is implemented in Delhi then Manoj Tiwari will be the first one who will have to leave Delhi," Chief Minister Kejriwal told reporters today, when asked for his reaction to Mr Tiwari's demand.
#WATCH Delhi CM on being asked 'Manoj Tiwari said infiltrators are responsible for attack on a journalist so NRC should be implemented in Delhi': If NRC (National Register of Citizens) is implemented in Delhi then Manoj Tiwari will be the first one who will have to leave Delhi. pic.twitter.com/BCQBR268cU— ANI (@ANI) September 25, 2019
Mr Kejriwal's comment drew a strong reaction from BJP leader Kapil Mishra, who rushed to record a video statement that he posted on Twitter. In the statement, Mr Mishra, who is seen sitting in the front seat of a car wearing his seat belt, blasts the Delhi Chief Minister's remark as "embarrassing".
"Chief Minister Kejriwal's NRC comment is pointless," he says in Hindi, "He says if there is NRC in Delhi then people from Bihar and UP will have to leave. This is shameful. Some people don't understand that the 'N' in NRC is for 'National'".
NRC पर केजरीवाल का बयान शर्मनाक— Kapil Mishra (@KapilMishra_IND) September 25, 2019
यूपी और बिहार के लोगों को देश के बाहर का बताना, यूपी बिहार के लोगों की तुलना घुसपैठियों से करना बहुत घटिया हरकत
बांग्लादेशी और रोहिंग्या घुसपैठियों को बचाने की साजिश कर रहे हैं केजरीवाल pic.twitter.com/e3w6G1bJeT
"This is not a Delhi register of citizens," an increasingly upset Mr Mishra continues, accusing Mr Kejriwal of making these comments to build up a vote base among Bangladeshi and Rohingya refugees in Delhi at the expense of Indians from Bihar.
This isn't the first time Manoj Tiwari has called for the NRC in Delhi. Last month, on the same day the list was published in Assam, Mr Tiwari demanded a similar exercise, claiming the situation in Delhi was "dangerous".
His demand has been seen as significant given Delhi is expected to hold Assembly elections next year.
Similar demands have already been made by BJP and NDA leaders in Maharashtra and Haryana, both of which are BJP-ruled states and scheduled to hold elections on October 21.
That such exercises should be carried out to identify "outsiders" is the BJP's official position. Home Minister Amit Shah pledged to eject "termites" - a reference to Bangladeshi migrants - earlier this year while campaigning for national election.
With input from ANI