Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday said provocative comments by Bharatiya Janata Party during the Delhi poll campaign may have cost it the elections, PTI reported. “Statements like ‘goli maro’ and ‘Indo-Pak match’ should not have been made,” Shah said at the Times Now Summit in Delhi.
Shah said the BJP had distanced itself from the comments by BJP leader Kapil Mishra, who had referred to the elections as an “India vs Pakistan” match, and Union minister Anurag Thakur, who had exhorted a crowd at a rally to shout “shoot the traitors”. The Election Commission barred both Thakur and Verma from campaigning for different periods of time for making the remarks.
On Tuesday, the Aam Aadmi Party secured landslide victory in the elections, winning 62 of the 70 Assembly seats. The BJP managed to win only eight seats, but was able to increase its vote share from 32% to 38.51%. The Congress drew a blank.
The home minister said his assessment of the elections was wrong. He emphasised that the result was not a mandate on the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens. Protests against the law and the citizens’ register have been going on across India for the past two months.
Shah said anyone who wanted to discuss matters related to the Citizenship Amendment Act would be able to seek time from his office. “We will give time within three days.” He reiterated the law was not against minorities, and claimed more people were supporting it than opposing. “There is no provision in the CAA which says that citizenship of Muslims will be revoked,” he said. “If you do a national survey, 20 times more people came out in support of CAA compared to the anti-CAA protesters.”
The law 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. It has been widely criticised for excluding Muslims.
The BJP leader said no decision had been taken by the government regarding the proposed all-India National Register of Citizens. “I have just said in Parliament that no decision has been taken on NRC,” he added.
When we make a decision, you will come to know about it.” The objective of the exercise is to identify unidentified immigrants in India. The government’s critics fear that it will be misused along with the Citizenship Amendment Act to target Muslims since they are excluded from the ambit of the citizenship law.