In a veiled reference to the protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act in Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh and elsewhere in the capital, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday called them “experiments” based on a “design to dent the nationalistic heritage” of the country.
Speaking at the first of his two rallies to campaign for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in east Delhi days before the Assembly election, he accused the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Congress of engaging in a “political game” through such protests, which were also going on at Seelampur and in the vicinity of Jamia Milia Islamia.
“Are these protests and demonstrations just a matter of chance? No, they are not. They are not a matter of chance — they are experiments. Behind them is an intended political design aimed at denting the country’s nationalistic heritage,” he said.
“If this was a reaction against a law, after all the attempts the government has made to dispel fears about it, it would have ended. But the Aam Aadmi Party and the Congress are playing a political game [through these protests],” he further said, naming the ruling AAP for the first time at a public event in Delhi.
The Constitution and the tricolour, Mr. Modi alleged, were being used as shields from behind which “wisdom” was being “distributed”, while efforts were being made to divert attention from “the real conspiracy” at play behind the scenes.
The Constitution, he argued, was the basis of the country’s jurisprudence which, in turn, formed the basis of courts that functioned as per the provisions of the Constitution and provided “justice to the people”. “Many cases and judgments, including those delivered by the Supreme Court, have held that protests and demonstrations must not lead to the disruption of life of the citizen, that public property must not be destroyed,” he said.
“The violence, damage to public property and arson which has occurred during these protests have been frowned upon by courts…but those engaged in these [protests] don’t listen to courts, don’t respect their verdicts…and are teaching the Constitution to the world,” Mr. Modi said. These, he argued, were causing inconvenience to the average citizen of Delhi who was “silent” but “angry.” The people of Delhi, he said, were aware of these being a symptom of “vote-bank politics”.
The “mentality” behind such protests, he added, needed to be checked “right now” before such protests occurred somewhere else again; Delhi, he said, could not be “left in this state of anarchy”.
“The sheer inconvenience the people of Delhi travelling to Noida are facing…the citizens of Delhi are watching all this. They may be silent but they understand the vote-bank politics behind it and are angry,” he said.
“It is imperative to stall this mentality right here. If the conspirator gain more strength, tomorrow they will block any other road, any other by-lane. We can’t leave Delhi in this state of anarchy. Only the people of Delhi can stop this. Every vote to the BJP has the strength to do that,” he said. Efforts to speed up the development of the capital would be made immediately after the formation of a BJP government, he said.