- Conspiracy being planned against country in the capital: Giriraj Singh
- Many BJP leaders have targeted Shaheen Bagh protest in Delhi campaign
- Minister Giriraj Singh, a BJP MP, is notorious for incendiary speeches
Shaheen Bagh has become a breeding ground for suicide bombers plotting against the country from the capital city, Union Minister Giriraj Singh said today, contributing one more to a series of hate-filled comments that have vitiated the Delhi election campaign.
"This Shaheen Bagh is not a movement anymore. Suicide bombers are being raised here. A conspiracy is being planned against the country in the country's capital," Giriraj Singh tweeted in Hindi on Shaheen Bagh, the heart of protests against the citizenship law CAA. He also posted a video he claims is from Shaheen Bagh, but it is not established.
He even defended his tweet. "At Shaheen Bagh a baby dies and his mother says my son is a martyr. What is this, if not suicide bomb? If we have to say India, then people should be cautious of these suicide bombs, this khilafat movement."
Giriraj Singh, the Union Minister for Animal Husbandry and Fisheries, is notorious for his incendiary speeches, for which he has mostly gone unpunished.
A multitude of BJP leaders, including Home Minister Amit Shah, have targeted the Shaheen Bagh protest in a deeply polarizing campaign for the Saturday Delhi election.
Since December 18, hundreds of men, women and children have sat on protest on the road at Shaheen Bagh in south Delhi, against the religion-based Citizenship (Amendment) Act or CAA, which enables non-Muslims from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan to become Indian citizens if they escaped religious persecution and entered India before 2015.
The government has been accused by critics of subverting the constitutional principle of secularism and discriminating against Muslims by bringing in the CAA.
Protests have swept through the country against the law.
The BJP has accused Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) of providing active support to the Shaheen Bagh protesters.
The ruling party's campaign pitch has circled around Shaheen Bagh and the narrative that the protesters are "anti-national" and have blocked a key road, inconveniencing thousands of commuters.
Last week, Amit Shah had said at a Delhi rally that people should press the button on the Electronic Voting Machine with "such anger that the protesters in Shaheen Bagh feel the current".
BJP MP Parvesh Sahib Singh Verma, banned twice from campaigning by the Election Commission because of his hate speeches, said recently: "Lakhs of people gather there. They will enter your houses, rape your sisters and daughters, kill them."
BJP leaders like Kapil Mishra, a candidate in the Delhi election, have compared the protests to "mini-Pakistans" in the city.
Mishra tweeted last week that "Pakistan" had entered Shaheen Bagh, and likened polling day to a contest between India and its Muslim-majority neighbour.
At another meeting yesterday, the Home Minister said: "The Delhi election is not a contest between two parties. You have to choose between two ideologies -- Rahul Baba (Rahul Gandhi), Kejriwal and the company which supports Shaheen Bagh or (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi who is safeguarding the country."
Arvind Kejriwal has accused the BJP of using Shaheen Bagh in its campaign and avoiding subjects like development as it has no other strategy to win and nothing to show.