Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. (Photo Credit: ANI/Twitter)
Lashing out at the people protesting against the new citizenship law, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Saturday alleged that the AAP government "supplies biryani" to the protesters. He also alleged that those who supported terrorists in Kashmir were staging protest in Shaheen Bagh and raising slogans of 'azadi'.
Addressing a series of rallies in Delhi, Adityanath said that "their ancestors divided India", so they have a grouse against this emerging 'Ek Bharat, Shrestha Bharat'.
At his first poll rally of the day at Karawal Nagar Chowk in support of BJP candidate Mohan Singh Bisht and Mustafabad's sitting MLA Jagdish Pradhan, Adityanath said the anti-CAA agitation was "against India" and an attempt to "malign the image" of the country.
“It is a roadblock in realising the dream of 'Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat'," he said.
#WATCH Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in Narela, Delhi, earlier today: The biggest power of democracy is ballot, not bullet. I have come here to appeal to you to use the language of the ballot. #DelhiElections2020 pic.twitter.com/UcRVgSzoQK— ANI (@ANI) February 1, 2020
The UP chief minister also attacked his Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal, alleging he and his party were siding with protesters at Shaheen Bagh and that a Pakistan minister and AAP were speaking in similar terms.
"How did it happen? We don't know where all their (AAP's) links are," he said, referring to a tweet on Friday by Pakistan's Minister of Science and Technology Fawad Hussain on Delhi polls.
Kejriwal responded to him on Friday, saying the Delhi election was an internal matter of India and any interference by Pakistan, the biggest sponsor of terrorism, will not be tolerated.
"People of Delhi, you have to decide, whether you want better health, better education facilities, better environment, metro services or whether Delhi needs Shaheen Bagh. I am here to tell you that," Adityanath said, amid chants of 'Yogi, Yogi' and 'Jai Shri Ram'.
At another rally, the senior BJP leader sustained his attack on AAP, saying, "Kejriwal cannot even provide clean drinking water to the people of Delhi... According to a (BIS) survey, the Delhi government is making its people drink poisonous water. But it is supplying biryani to those protesting in Shaheen Bagh and elsewhere in the city."
Hundreds of people, including women and children, have been protesting in Shaheen Bagh since December 15 against the amended law and the National Register of Citizens. They say the citizenship law is discriminatory and fear it targets Muslims.
During the assembly poll campaign, BJP leaders have been urging people to vote for the party to show their disapproval for the ongoing anti-CAA protest at Shaheen Bagh.
At a third rally in support of BJP candidate Vijender Gupta in Rohini, Adityanath claimed Mahatma Gandhi had said India should provide citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians fleeing atrocities in Pakistan, and "therefore, it (the citizenship law) should be welcomed".
"Those who supported terrorists in Kashmir have come and sat on a dharna in Shaheen Bagh against the CAA and are raising slogans of 'azadi'," Adityanath said.
"You should understand what they want, what they think about India, where are they taking it. If they indulge in rioting or arson...In Uttar Pradesh, I told the administration to make them pay for the damages and we seized their property," the firebrand BJP leader said.
In December, Adityanath declared that his government would recover losses due to violence during protests against the law by seizing the properties of those involved in vandalism.
The UP CM also said that since Narendra Modi became the prime minister, "we have been identifying every terrorist and feeding them 'goli' instead of biryani".
"Let Kashmir remain in peace ... If you will speak the language of Pakistan, in favour of Pakistan, the soldier's gun will show you the way to hell," he said.
At the Karawal Nagar rally, he also said, "The protests (at Shaheen Bagh) have disrupted daily life, we cannot condemn it less," the senior BJP leader said.
"These protests are not about CAA, it is happening because those people are questioning how can India emerge as a major power in the world, and to stop that rising India," he claimed.
Adityanath also asserted that his party and the central government will not allow a rule that divides the country into segments and "will not allow terrorism, insurgency and Naxalism in India".
On the Ram temple issue, he reiterated that it was a "grand dream" of crores of Indian and Congress was a "blockade", but the Supreme Court has cleared the way for the temple.
He alleged that the Kejriwal government is no different than Congress, as they are "trying to ensure the Nirbhaya convicts do not get hanged".
He also alleged that AAP government has not given NOC to a Delhi-Meerut- Haridwar 12-lane expressway project, despite approval by the Centre and funds allocation by the UP government.
On Thursday, the Election Commission banned Union minister Anurag Thakur and BJP MP Parvesh Verma from campaigning for 72 and 96 hours, respectively, in view of their provocative comments at an election rally in the city earlier this week.
(With PTI inputs)