Triggering a row, Bharatiya Janata Party leader and Union minister Anurag Thakur on Monday egged on participants of an election rally to raise an incendiary slogan that ‘traitors should be shot’, after he lashed out at anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protesters.
At the rally, Thakur, the minister of state for finance, shouted ‘desh ke gaddaron ko‘ to which the crowd responded ‘goli maro sa*** ko‘ (shoot down the traitors).
Addressing the meeting in support of BJP candidate from Rithala, Manish Chaudhary, Singh raised the pitch of nationalism as he linked opposition parties with anti-CAA protests in Shaheen Bagh and with alleged anti-India slogans, and then asked the crowd to raise the controversial slogan.
The Delhi Chief Electoral Officer’s office has sought a report from the North West district’s election officer in connection with the rally, officials said.
The incident has triggered a row, drawing sharp reaction form the Congress which demanded that the Election Commission (EC) take action against Thakur.
“We have taken cognisance of the incident and have sought a report from the district election officer. However, we have not received any complaint so far,” a senior official in the Delhi CEO Office said.
Hitting out at the BJP, Kirti Azad, who is the head of the Delhi Congress campaign committee, its leaders are the ‘real traitors’ as they are working to ‘destroy’ peace and amity.
The controversial slogan has been raised by some junior BJP leaders of late, including Kapil Mishra, but this is the first time a party functionary of the level of a Union minister has participated in it.
Singh is also heard telling the crowd to raising the slogan in such a high voice that Giriraj Singh, a firebrand Hindutva leader and a Union minister, can hear it.
The BJP’s Rithala candidate is seen as a protegee of Giriraj Singh.