New Delhi, Jan 29, 2020: Karnataka Minister CT Ravi has backed Union Minister Anurag Thakur after he was caught on video urging people at a Delhi election rally to "goli maaro" (gun down) traitors". In a tweet posted Tuesday afternoon, CT Ravi lashes out at Mr Thakur’s critics and said they should "get bullet(s) not biryani". He went on to accuse Mr Thakur’s critics of "spreading lies" against the controversial citizenship law and supporting the "tukde tukde gang", NDTV reported.
"Those attacking Union MoS Anurag Thakur for his statement against traitors are the ones who opposed death to terrorists Ajmal Kasab and Yakub Memon; supported Tukde Tukde Gang; spread lies against #CAA. Anti-nationals should get bullet not biryani," CT Ravi, a minister in the BJP-ruled Karnataka Cabinet, declared.
The "bullet not biryani" comment by CT Ravi was likely a reference to a claim by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath that while his party had been killing terrorists, the Congress fed them biryani; the Chief Minister was referring to reports that 26/11 terrorist Ajmal Kasab was allegedly provided "mutton biryani" in jail on his demand.
Faced with unrelenting anger over the Citizenship Amendment Act, or CAA, the BJP has sought to fight the Delhi election with a narrative accusing the opposition - led by the Congress - of being "anti-national" and threatening national security - a tactic used in last year’s Lok Sabha elections.
Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad led the charge this week, hitting out at Congress’s Rahul Gandhi and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for "standing with the tukde tukde gang (a term used by right-wing parties to attack Left-backed groups and supporters)" and backing the Shahen Bagh protesters.
Mr Prasad’s statement echoed tweets by BJP chief JP Nadda, who accused Mr Kejriwal of "supporting those who want to break India".
Meanwhile, Anurag Thakur has been served an Election Commission notice for chanting the first half of a slogan - "desh ke gaddaron ko" - that concludes with the call "goli maaro sa***n ko"; the chant translates as "shoot down traitors who betray the country".
The poll body said prima facie the remarks had the "potential of disturbing communal harmony and aggravating existing differences between social and religious communities".
A reply has been sought by 12 pm on January 30.
If found guilty Mr Thakur will become the second BJP leader to be pulled up ahead of next month’s Assembly elections after former AAP MLA Kapil Misha; last month Mr Mishra had also been caught on camera appearing to chant the same slogan, but in its entirety.
Delhi will vote February 8, with results due February 11.