Delhi violence outcome of 'instigation' by Opposition leaders, including Sonia Gandhi: BJP

Last Updated : 27 February 2020, 17:19 IST
Last Updated : 27 February 2020, 17:19 IST

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The BJP on Thursday said the violence in the city is an outcome of "instigation" by opposition leaders and sought to link Congress chief Sonia Gandhi's call for "aar par ki ladai" (fight to the finish) during a rally last year against the CAA to the outbreak of communal clashes in northeast Delhi.

Senior BJP leader and Union Minister Prakash Javadekar also referred to some comments of Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, and highlighted the presence of a large amount of stones and alleged petrol bombs at an Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader's residence to target opposition parties.

Addressing a press conference, he accused the Congress and the AAP of "politicising" the riots, which have claimed 34 lives, so far, in the national capital.

He said AAP MLAs should have been out in the field to restore peace but instead the Delhi chief minister identified riot victims by their religion in the Delhi assembly.

The violence is not about what transpired in "two days", Javadekar said in an apparent reference to February 24 and 25 when the highest number of casualties occurred, but the "pot was put on the boiler for two months".

At a rally in the national capital against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), Sonia Gandhi gave a call for "aar par ki ladai", he said.

Javadekar was referring to the Congress chief's rally against the amended citizenship law on December 14 last year.

"She said 'now we have to decide, choose your side'. Is this not instigation? Priyanka Gandhi said 'hundreds of people will be put behind bars'. Is this not misinterpretation (of CAA)? Rahul Gandhi said, 'Don't worry. We are with you'. They stoked fears and instigated people," Javadekar said.

He likened Sonia Gandhi's comments to the "justification" of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots by the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi who had said that the earth shakes when a big tree falls, a reference to the assassination of Indira Gandhi.

Asked about alleged provocative statements made by BJP leaders like Kapil Mishra, he said the matter is in court and added that AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan and AIMIM leader Waris Pathan made speeches that incited people.

"Riot factory has been found at AAP councillor Tahir Hussain's house. Why is the Congress and the AAP silent on this," he asked, in a reference to the recovery of stones and alleged petrol bombs from there.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has said legal action should be taken against any leader found involved in the riots, and the violence should not be politicised.

Javadekar also accused opposition parties of being silent on the attack on police personnel and journalists besides the death of Intelligence Bureau staffer Ankit Sharma.

The duty of all political parties right now should be to work to restore peace but they are doing "petty politics", he said, referring to Congress' demand for Home Minister Amit Shah's resignation during its delegation's meeting with President Ram Nath Kovind.

Defending Shah, Javadekar credited his effective handling of the situation and the Delhi Police for the "return of peace" in the area in the last two days.

"The situation in North East Delhi is under control. Arrests have been made, inquiries have been fast-tracked to identify culprits behind this violence," he told reporters.

Opposition leaders "instigated" people and stoked fears among them against the amended citizenship law by spreading falsehood, he said.

To a question about the transfer of Delhi High Court Judge S Muralidhar, Javadekar said it was in pursuance of the decision of the Supreme Court collegium.

Earlier in the day, the Congress hit out at the government over the transfer of Justice Muralidhar, alleging that the Modi dispensation was waging a battle of revenge against the judiciary.

Muralidhar was transferred to the Punjab and Haryana High Court, on a day when a bench headed by him expressed "anguish" over the Delhi Police's failure to register FIRs against alleged hate speeches by BJP leaders Parvesh Verma, Kapil Mishra and Anurag Thakur.

Published 27 February 2020, 17:19 IST

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