Janata Dal (United) leader Prashant Kishor on Monday responded to Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s suggestion to “press the button with anger” during the Delhi Assembly elections to make a point against the Citizenship Amendment Act protestors at Shaheen Bagh. Kishor is also the political strategist for the Aam Aadmi Party this time.
“EVM buttons will be pressed with just love in Delhi on February 8,” Kishor tweeted, without naming Shah. “It should be a mild current, though, so brotherhood and friendship is not endangered.”
The Delhi Assembly elections will be held on February 8. The results of the polls will be declared three days later.
Kishor has been a vocal critic of the amended citizenship law. He has also time and again expressed his disappointment with the party’s decision to vote in favour of the Citizenship Amendment Bill in both Houses of Parliament.
At a rally in Babarpur on Sunday, Shah had told voters to press the Electronic Voting Machines with such anger that its current (poll result) is felt at Shaheen Bagh.
Hundreds of women, along with children, have been protesting at Shaheen Bagh for the last six weeks. The police’s attempts to persuade them to leave have failed.
The Citizenship Amendment Act provides citizenship to refugees from six minority religious communities from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan, provided they have lived in India for six years and entered the country by December 31, 2014. The Act has been widely criticised for excluding Muslims. Twenty-six people died in last month’s protests against the law – all in the BJP-ruled states of Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, and Assam.
The government’s critics and some protestors fear that the amended law and the National Register of Citizens will be misused to target Muslims since the Citizenship Act now has religion as a criterion. There are now fears that a nation-wide National Register of Citizens will be imposed. The Assam NRC had left out around 6% of the state’s population. Work has also begun on the National Population Register, which is the first step to creating an all-Indian NRC identifying undocumented migrants residing in India.