New Delhi, February 13: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday disapproved of statements like ‘goli maro’ and ‘Indo-Pak match’ by a few BJP leaders during the Delhi assembly poll campaign and said these remarks may have been one of the possible reasons for the party’s defeat.
He, however, said the BJP does not fight elections just for victory or defeat but believes in expanding its ideology through polls.
“Such statements should not have been made. Our party has distanced itself from such remarks,” he said.
Shah was asked a question about a few BJP leaders raising slogans like ‘goli maro’ and talking about the ‘Indo-Pak match’ during the Delhi elections campaigning.
He admitted that the BJP may have suffered in the polls because of the statements made by some of its leaders.
Shah said his assessment on Delhi elections went wrong but asserted that the result of the polls was not a mandate on the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) or the National Register of Citizens (NRC).
He said anyone who wants to discuss issues related to CAA with him can seek time from his office. “(We) will give time within three days,” he added.
Strongly defending the CAA, which provides for Indian citizenship to persecuted non-Muslims from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, the home minister said there is no such provision in the new law that will take away the citizenship of Muslims.
“We have never discriminated against anyone on the ground of religion. There is no provision in the CAA which says that citizenship of Muslims will be revoked. Don’t just criticise CAA, but discuss it on the basis of merits. CAA is neither anti-Muslim nor anti-minority. I am ready to meet anyone, but discussions need to happen on merit. Unfortunately, nobody wants to come forward and discuss CAA,” he said.
He, however, said the NRC was a promise of the BJP in its election manifesto.
Asked about the ongoing agitations against the CAA, Shah said everyone has a right to peaceful protest but violence is not justified.
“We tolerate non-violent protests, but vandalism can’t be tolerated. Silent protest is a democratic right,” he said.
On Jammu and Kashmir, Shah said everyone, including politicians, are free to visit the newly-created Union Territory whenever they want to and there is no restriction on anyone’s movement.
Omar Abdullah has approached the Supreme Court and let the judiciary take a decision on it, he said. —