With the anti-CAA protests at Shaheen Bagh turning out to be the biggest flashpoint in the run-up to the Delhi Assembly elections, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today appeared to blunt the Bharatiya Janata Party’s charge of refusing to spell out a clear stand on the matter. Skillfully avoiding the BJP’s trap, Kejriwal said that the onus of clearing the road blockade, which was causing immense hardships to a lot of people, rested with the Centre. BJP leaders, Kejriwal said, should visit Shaheen Bagh and hold talks with the protesters to resolve the issue instead of holding daily press conferences.
“People are facing problems due to closed roads in Shaheen Bagh. BJP doesn’t want that the road should open and is doing dirty politics. BJP leaders should immediately visit Shaheen Bagh, talk and get the road re-opened,” he said.
Kejriwal’s remark comes after Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad questioned the silence of Kejriwal and alleged that the AAP leaders including the CM and his deputy Manish Sisodia supported the Shaheen Bagh protestors. The Shaheen Bagh stretch of the Kalindi Kunj road is closed for over a month due to protests against CAA and NRC. The blocked road is causing hardship to locals as they have to take alternate routes, thus disrupting the movement of traffic in other parts.
Reacting to the BJP’s charge that AAP was indulging in vote bank politics, Kejriwal said, “The BJP is doing dirty politics over Shaheen Bagh protests. Everyone has a right to protest according to the Constitution. I can give you this in writing, BJP does not want to open the route in Shaheen Bagh. The Shaheen Bagh route will remain closed till February 8 (election day) and it will open on February 9.”
Kejriwal also stated that the law and order in Delhi come under the purview of the Government of India. “Instead of holding press conferences on other issues, BJP leaders should talk to the Shaheen Bagh protesters. They should urge demonstrators to cooperate and clear the road in the larger public interest. All BJP leaders should go to Shaheen Bagh and talk to the protesters,” the Delhi CM said.
“If they are saying that they need permission from me, I am giving them permission, open the road in one hour,” he alleged.
Earlier on Sunday, Union Home Minister Amit Shah targeted the Shaheen Bagh protest and asked voters to press the EVM button for BJP on February 8, the nation Delhi votes to elect a new government,
“Your vote to BJP candidate will make Delhi and the country safe and prevent thousands of incidents like Shaheen Bagh,” he said.
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Source: Financial Express