Kejriwal did not take strong stand against CAA: Tharoor

Kejriwal did not take strong stand against CAA: Tharoor

Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Friday accused AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal of not taking a "strong" stand against the amended Citizenship Act, saying the Delhi chief minister wanted both supporters and opponents of the law on his side.

Tharoor also appealed to the people of Delhi to resist any move to polarise the assembly polls next month on the CAA issue and recent incidents of violence.

"Kejriwal perhaps wants both pro and anti-CAA people on his side so he did not take any strong stand on it. On what basis people should vote for him, if he cannot speak about the issue," Tharoor said at a press conference held at Delhi Congress office.

Attacking the BJP, Tharoor said the country is going through a turmoil, stifling of dissent and attacks on university campuses in Delhi.

On the issue of violence at Jamia Millia Islamia and JNU, the senior Congress leader said Kejriwal not only failed to take a "clear stand" on the CAA but also did not meet the students who were injured in these incidents.

Tharoor claimed that Kejriwal had earlier said Delhi Police did not stop the violence in JNU as it had orders not to intervene. He asked who had stopped the Delhi chief minister from taking a stand on CAA and showing sympathy with the students.

"I do not know whose orders he (Kejriwal) is receiving -- who has asked you(Kejriwal) not to speak about violence against your students, not meet the injured students, and not take a clear stand on CAA. You are the CM and there is nobody to order you," he said.

Citing Kejriwal's tweet against former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, Tharoor said people would not vote for a "helpless" chief minister.

"Kejriwal tweeted some years ago - we do not want such a helpless Chief Minister- about Sheila Dikshit. Let him read his own tweet now. Do parents want such a helpless CM who when their children are facing lathis, does not meet them," Tharoor said.

As Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal drew criticism for not visiting JNU campus after violence there, AAP leader Sanjay Singh had said that had the party chief gone to the university, the BJP would have vitiated the atmosphere and blamed it on him.

Tharoor asserted that his party took a "strong and clear stand" against the CAA.

"You can not reduce CAA to an issue of one religion alone. It is not just a matter of Indian Muslims, it is a matter of all Indians," he said attacking the BJP.

Tharoor hoped that no further incidence of violence takes place, saying such incidents were a blot on the country. He accused the BJP of trying to polarise before the elections.

"Definitely, the intention of the BJP before almost every election is to create polarisation. We hope the educated voters of Delhi resist any such move to polarise them in anyway," he said when asked if CAA and NRC will become a poll issue.

Union minister and Delhi BJP inchrage for Assembly polls, Prakash Javadekar had earlier charged Congress and other opposition parties of "instigating" students and "using" them for their "vested" interests. 

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