Amit Shah cries revenge: ‘Badla’, Gujarat, Mullah Mulayam
BJP General Secretary Amit Shah on Thursday stirred controversy after he issued a clarion call for revenge against those who are allegedly protecting the killers of Jats in Uttar Pradesh.
BJP General Secretary Amit Shah on Thursday stirred controversy after he issued a clarion call for revenge against those who were 'protecting' the killers of Jats, during an interaction in Uttar Pradesh.
According to a report in The Indian Express, Shah, at a meeting with Jat leaders in Raajhar village, 40 km from Muzaffarnagar, said seeking revenge against those 'protecting' the killers of Jats was about protecting ones honour.
“This election is about voting out the government that protects and gives compensation to those who killed Jats,” Shah said. “It is about badla (revenge) and protecting izzat (honour),” he reportedly said at a meeting with Jat leaders in Uttar Pradesh.
Neha Dixit in Scroll.in, also reporting on the same meeting, notes Shah said, "This is the time to avenge," pointing to Suresh Rana and Hukum Singh, two BJP MLAs accused of inciting anti-Muslim violence during the Muzaffarnagar riots. "A man can sleep hungry but not humiliated. This is the time to take revenge by voting for Modi."
Shah further said that under the present Samajwadi Party government in the state, certain communities were rendered 'second-class citizens' due to the minority appeasement carried out by Mulayam Singh.
According to ANI, Shah also substituted Modi's once-favoured 'mian' perjorative with 'mullah' saying, "Modi ko pradhanmantri banaoge toh agle hi din mulla Mulayam ki sarkar gir jayegi" (If you make Modi PM, Mullah Mulayam's government will fall the very next day.)
Also included was a reference to Gujarat, a subject carefully avoided by his party's prime ministerial candidate: “Kisi maa ke laal mein himmat nahin hai ki woh Gujarat mein dange karaye… wahaan Narendra Modi ki sarkar hai (No one has the courage to instigate riots in Gujarat, Narendra Modi runs the government there)...”
Meanwhile, the Samajwadi Party slammed Shah for his remarks saying such comments only exposed the nature of the Right-wing party. "If Amit Shah has said in Muzaffarnagar that revenge is needed then it proves that BJP had incited the Muzzafarnagar riots... This is called fascist ideology,saying we will dismiss a democratically elected government," SP's Ram Gopal Yadav told reporters.
"We will see if they have the courage to dismiss ours."
The Congress, too, hit out at the BJP saying they will approach the Election Commission over Shah's 'communal' remarks. "Muzaffarnagar mein unhone kaha 'badla lenge' yahi unka manifesto hai, Congress leader Raj Babbar said, while the party's legal cell member KC Mittal said the EC has already been petitioned."Amit Shah was talking of revenge in Jaat villages of Muzaffarnagar, it's horrible. We have approached the Election Commisson."
But the BJP defended their General Secretary saying those chanting secularism were responsible for what happened. "Jo log secular tourism karne gaye the unhone apmaan kiya hai, chahe Hindu ho ya Musalman," Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told ANI.
Shah's incendiary rhetoric is no accident and likely part of BJP's strategy in the battleground state. Aiming for an unprecedent victory margin, the BJP needs to win big in Uttar Pradesh, which sends 80 MPs to Lok Sabha. According to a survey conducted by CSDS Lokniti-IBN, the BJP is clearly ahead in Western Uttar Pradesh, benefiting from its opponents' votes being divided among various parties.
The survey showed that the Muzaffarnagar riots and their impact have actually grown in prominence since early this year. As much as 78 percent of the respondents in March said they knew about the communal riots of 2013, as compared to the 64 percent in January. Also, 40 percent of respondents believed the Samajwadi Party to be "most responsible" for the riots.
It remains to be seen if Amit Shah's polarising rhetoric will mitigate some of the damage to SP, or whether BSP or Congress will be the bigger beneficiaries.
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