Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari held a host of factors responsible for the BJP’s poll rout in Delhi. But key among them were controversial statements given by party leaders.
Did communally charged speeches cost the Bharatiya Janata Party the Delhi elections? Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari certainly thinks so.
Speaking to Indian Express, Manoj Tiwari held a host of factors responsible for the BJP’s poll rout in Delhi. But key among them were controversial statements given by party leaders like Anurag Thakur, Parvesh Verma, Prakash Javadekar and Yogi Adityanath.
When asked what he had to say about BJP MP Parvesh Verma comparing Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal to a “terrorist” and Prakash Javadekar’s defence of the comment, Manoj Tiwari said, “Whatever the context, it was hate speech and our party had to face losses due to that. We condemned that speech then as well as today.
The BJP MP said whichever politician gives hate speech should be penalised for their actions, even if it is party colleague Kapil Mishra who chanted “Desh ke gaddaron ko, goli maaro saalon ko (shoot the traitors)” at a pro-CAA rally in December.
“I want those who make such hate speeches to be permanently removed. Let us start a system where people who give hate speeches lose their legal right (to fight polls). And if such a system is put in place, I, as an individual and not as party president, will support it. And everyone should be inspected…,” he said.
Tiwari also said not having a CM face against Arvind Kejriwal may have cost the BJP.
The BJP was trounced in the Delhi assembly polls against the expectations of its top leaders, as the saffron party trailed far behind the AAP that returned to power with 62 seats in the 70-member legislature.
Although the BJP managed to improve its vote share to over 39 per cent as compared to 32.19 per cent in the 2015 elections, the increase did not materialise in a sufficient number of seats to bring the party back to power after a gap of over two decades.
Some BJP leaders believe the defeat was mainly contributed by the “hyper-nationalist pitch” of the poll campaign that focused on the anti-CAA protests at Shaheen Bagh and also lack of any answer to Kejriwal government’s freebies including power and water supply and free rides to women in public transport buses.
Even Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday said hate speeches like ‘goli maro’ and ‘Indo-Pak match’ should not have been made by BJP leaders during the recent Delhi Assembly election campaign and that such remarks may have resulted in the party’s defeat.