CAA stir: Those trying to fragment India getting cover at Shaheen Bagh protest, says Ravi Shankar Prasad

He claimed that those trying to fragment India are getting cover at Shaheen Bagh protest where the tricolour is being waved.
Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad (File | PTI)
Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad (File | PTI)

NEW DELHI: Union minister and BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad on Monday alleged that Delhi's Shaheen Bagh protest is emerging as a "textbook case of a few hundred people trying to suppress the silent majority".

He claimed that those trying to fragment India are getting cover at Shaheen Bagh protest where the tricolour is being waved.

"It is offering a platform to 'tukde tukde gang' elements under the garb of opposition to the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.

This protest is not just a protest against CAA, it is a protest against Modi," Prasad said in a press conference.

With Delhi Assembly polls scheduled to be held on February 8, the top leadership of the BJP has sharpened its attack on the Congress and AAP over the anti-CAA protest at Shaheen Bagh.

The BJP has been out of power in Delhi for more than two decades and is working hard to up the ante against the ruling AAP and Congress over several issues especially the ongoing protest at Shaheen Bagh which began in mid-December following violence during an anti-CAA demonstration at the Jamia Millia Islamia.

"Lakhs of people are distressed because they can not go to office, shops are shut and their children are not able to go to school due to the road being blocked by the protesters," Prasad said.

Shaheen Bagh is not just a locality but an "idea", he said, adding that "under the cover of the tricolour, those seeking to dismember the country are being given shelter at Shaheen Bagh and innocent children are being tricked into threatening violence against the prime minister.

" The CAA does not deprive anyone of his/her citizenship and each Muslim citizen of this country will continue to live with full respect, he said.

Accusing the opposition of misleading the people by creating confusion over the CAA, he said all democratic norms were fulfilled in enacting the amended citizenship law.

"Shaheen Bagh is a textbook case of a few hundred people seeking to suppress the silent majority. The truth of it needs to be presented before the country. Rahul Gandhi and Arvind Kejriwal are silent but their people are talking," he said.

He further accused the Congress of "bringing Jinnah to Indian politics" saying the love that the party's leaders have for Pakistan is "surprising".

"I want to say it clearly to the Congress that no further partition of the country will be allowed and if anyone thinks otherwise, strong action will be taken," he said.

Prasad also asked Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) supremo Arvind Kejriwal to clear his stand on Jinnah, saying the BJP takes pride in people like A P J Abdul Kalam, Maulana Azad, Abdul Hamid, Ashfaqullah, and cricketer Zaheer Khan from the minority community.

"But see the drama by the Congress if Adnan Sami is given citizenship. They have objection to it. He is a good singer, he came here and became a citizen, we showed respect to him," he said.

However, both Gandhi and Kejriwal have no qualms in visiting JNU where slogans like "Bharat tere tukde honge" were raised because of "vote bank" politics, Prasad said.

"Their (AAP and Congress) problem is that those (persecuted minorities from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh) people coming here are not their vote banks so their dignity does not matter to them," he said.

"We want this issue to be raised prominently especially during the Delhi polls as to what kind of India and Delhi do we want. Should Delhi have a place for those who raise 'tukde tukde' slogans or want to cut off Assam from India? These are big questions," Prasad added.

The minister was referring to anti-CAA activist Sharjeel Imam who was slapped with a sedition case after his alleged speeches went viral on social media where he was heard speaking about "cutting off" Assam and the northeast from India.

Voting for 70 membered Delhi Assembly will be held on February 8 and the results will be declared on February 11.

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