Amit Shah says speeches like ‘goli maaro’, ‘Indo-Pak match’ by BJP leaders resulted in party’s defeat in Delhi Assembly polls

  • Shah, however, said the BJP does not fight elections just for victory or defeat but believes in expanding its ideology through polls

  • 'Statements like 'goli maro' and 'India-Pakistan match' should not have been made. Our party has distanced itself from such remarks,' he said

New Delhi: Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday said hate speeches like 'goli maro' and 'India-Pakistan match' should not have been made by BJP leaders during the recent Delhi Assembly election campaign and that such remarks may have resulted in the party's defeat.

Shah, however, said the BJP does not fight elections just for victory or defeat but believes in expanding its ideology through polls.

"Statements like 'goli maro' and 'India-Pakistan match' should not have been made. Our party has distanced itself from such remarks," he told at a Times Now programme.

Replying to a question, Shah admitted that the BJP may have suffered because of the statements made by some party leaders in the Delhi polls.

The home minister 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) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC). Shah 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.

He blamed the Congress for the Partition on basis of religion.

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.

Shah also said that so far the government has not taken any decision on rolling out the NRC for the whole country and made it clear that those unwilling to show documents during the the National Population Register exercise were free to do so. 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.

Asked about the detention of three former chief ministers — Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti — he said it was a decision of the local administration to slap them with the Public Safety Act.

Omar Abdullah has approached the Supreme Court and let the judiciary take a decision on it, he said.

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Updated Date: Feb 13, 2020 20:58:59 IST