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‘Goli Maaro Saalon Ko’ Slogans Raised at Junior Finance Minister Anurag Thakur’s Rally, Days Ahead of Budget

Mos Anurag Thakur had led the provocative chants at a poll rally in Delhi's Rithala.

Thakur's comments come five days before the BJP-led central government is scheduled to present its annual Union Budget at a time when the economy is grappling with several problems.

New Delhi: Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur, who was in Delhi on Monday for a rally ahead of the February 8 Assembly elections, was caught on camera making inflammatory comments in Rithala.

Seen clapping his hands over his head, Thakur chanted, "Desh ke gaddaron ko (traitors of the country)...", with the crowd hitting back with "goli maaro s****n ko (shoot them all)".

Thakur and Giriraj Singh were later joined by Union Home Minister Amit Shah at the same venue.

Later on Monday, the Delhi Chief Electoral Office (CEO) has sought a report from the North West district's election officer in connection with Thakur's rally, said officials.

The Congress demanded that the Election Commission (EC) take action against Thakur for allegedly instigating the crowd by raising indecent slogans.

"The EC must take immediate action against the minister for instigating violence and take appropriate measures," Congress spokesperson Sharmistha Mukherjee said.

"As the economy is going downhill, unemployment is at record levels and the Modi government does not have anything to showcase, the BJP is back to its favourite game of polarisation," she added.

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 slogan has recently been raised by a few junior BJP leaders, 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 raise the slogan in such a high voice that Singh, a firebrand Hindutva leader and a Union minister, can hear it. The BJP's Rithala candidate is considered Singh's protegee.

Hitting out at the BJP, Kirti Azad, who is the head of the Delhi Congress campaign committee, said its leaders are the "real traitors" as they are working to "destroy" peace and amity.

Thakur's sloganeering comes five days before the BJP-led central government is scheduled to present its annual Union Budget at a time when the economy is grappling with several problems — of slowing economic growth, unemployment, and consumption slowdown.

The slogan, frequently raised by right-wing groups and also heard during the January 5 attack on students and teachers at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, surfaced again in the election rally.

(With inputs from PTI)

first published:January 27, 2020, 17:10 IST