Days after his “shoot the traitors” remark, Union Minister Anurag Thakur on Monday said that there is no place for violence in democracy and people should “use their voting power in the right manner that the ballot dominates bullets”.
“In a democracy, there is no place for violence. The voting power shall be used in the right manner and ballot should dominate the bullets,” the Minister of State for Finance told news agency ANI.
The statement is seen as a damage control exercise by the BJP leader after he was heavily criticised for making inflammatory statements while campaigning for the February 8 Delhi polls.
Anurag Thakur was under the scanner of the Election Commission for his recent rally in Rithala in North West Delhi during which he was seen prompting the crowd to say “Shoot the traitors”.
The BJP leader stoked controversy as he was seen in a viral video seen raising slogans, like “Desh ke gaddaro ko” and urging the crowd to complete the slogan with, “goli maaro saalo ko” (Shoot the traitors).
Following this, the poll body barred Anurag Thakur from campaigning in Delhi for 72 hours. Earlier, the EC had ordered the BJP to remove the minister’s name from the list of star campaigners of BJP for the polls.
Earlier on Monday, the Lok Sabha witnessed uproarious scenes with the opposition, led by Congress, raising the statement made by the Union Minister.
As MoS Anurag Thakur began his speech, opposition MPs raised “Goli maarna band karo” and “Desh ko todna bandh karo” slogans.
Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury hit out at the ruling BJP in the Lok Sabha describing its leaders as “fake Hindus” and accused the government of “trying to shut the voices of people through bullets.”
Voting in all 70 Assembly constituencies of Delhi is to be held on February 8. The counting of votes will take place on February 11.