All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen President Asaduddin Owaisi on Sunday alleged that Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has defamed all Muslims in the country and compared him to Narendra Modi of 2013, a year before he became the prime minister, reported PTI.

Owaisi alleged that Kejriwal had blamed Tablighi Jamaat for the spread of the coronavirus disease in the national capital in 2020.

“The lists of Covid-19 cases in Delhi had a column that mentioned Tablighi Jamaat members as super-spreaders,” he claimed while campaigning for the civic body polls. “The entire country started doubting Muslims. The hatred increased and many people were attacked. The Delhi CM is responsible for this.”

In March 2020, a Tablighi Jamaat congregation that was organised at the venue had been blamed for thousands of coronavirus cases around the country. The event had renewed the stigma against Muslims, triggering a wave of business boycotts and hate speech.

Several cases were filed against those who attended the congregation for reasons such as allegedly disobeying the government’s Covid-19 guidelines or violating the conditions of their visa. But courts have quashed most of the FIRs and acquitted the members.

On Sunday, Owaisi also alleged the Delhi chief minister said he would have removed those protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act at Shaheen Bagh in half an hour.

Shaheen Bagh was one of the many places across the country that had become a spot for protest against the contentious law. The protest at Shaheen Bagh had begun with around 50 women occupying a road in the area. Gradually, the location became a forefront for protest against the citizenship law as the number of demonstrators increased substantially.

As the demonstrations took centre stage, several Bharatiya Janata Party leaders had made inflammatory speeches against the protestors and the Muslim community.

At an event, Union Minister Anurag Thakur was heard shouting “desh ke gaddaron ko” and the crowd responded by saying “goli maaro saalon ko”. The slogan meant “shoot the traitors”, with an expletive used for “traitors” – a reference to those protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act.

In addition, on February 23, Kapil Mishra, who left the Aam Aadmi Party to join the BJP, had amassed a crowd and gave an ultimatum to the police to clear the roads of anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protestors holding a sit-in protest at Jaffrabad in Delhi.

This was the day clashes had broken out between the supporters of the Citizenship Amendment Act and those opposing it in North East Delhi, leaving left 53 dead and hundreds injured as it ended three days later. Most of those killed were Muslims.

“A person from his party who later joined the BJP raised the ‘goli maaron...’ slogan,” Owaisi claimed on Sunday, wrongly identifying Thakur instead of Mishra. “The Delhi chief minister got an FIR registered against Tablighi Jamaat, but not against this person. This is his true face... He is the Narendra Modi of 2013 and wants to break all his records.”

He alleged that Kejriwal had disappeared when the violence had broken out in Delhi in 2020. “Houses were burnt and people were killed,” the Hyderabad MP said. “The Delhi chief minister could not be seen anywhere.” he said.

The AIMIM chief also alleged that no party wants to work for the betterment of Muslims, Dalits and the Adivasis.

“When I roam the lanes of Ahmedabad, Godhra, Surat and Vadgam in Gujarat or Jaffrabad and Seelampur in Delhi, I find that places where Muslims, Dalits and Adivasis live remain undeveloped and dirty,” he claimed. “These places have open drains and mountains of garbage, but there are no proper arrangements for clean drinking water, children’s education and hospitals.”

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