The upcoming Delhi elections will see Kapil Mishra, the man who was caught on tape shouting ‘desh ke gaddaaron ko, goli maaron saalon ko’ contesting as a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
After the Parliament passed the discriminatory Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) last month and protests erupted across the country against the new law, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) took out pro-CAA rallies to counter the growing resistance.
BJP’s Kapil Mishra also led a march in support of the new law on 20 December, after which a video of him shouting incendiary slogans — “desh ke gaddaron ko, goli maaro saalon ko” — surfaced on social media.
Though the Delhi BJP had distanced itself from Mishra’s march and the resultant controversy at the time, on Friday, it announced that Mishra will be its candidate from Model Town in the upcoming Delhi assembly elections. The polling will be held on 8 February and results will be declared on 11 February.
Mishra refused to apologise for the slogans and instead said that he stood by it. When contacted by The Indian Express, Mishra said he “did not instigate anyone to take the law into their hands”.
“Our slogans have not instigated anyone to indulge in violence. Has anyone killed or threatened people? Those who are questioning me don’t have the courage to question those who are setting buses on fire and hitting policemen.”
He tried to justify the slogan by saying that it only sought harshest punishment for those pelting stones or indulging in arson.
The slogan, which was repeated at a pro-CAA rally in Nagpur on 22 December, angered many on Twitter. Some Twitter users asked how these slogans were allowed while people in Delhi weren’t even allowed to protest peacefully.
Last year, the BJP was severely criticised for fielding Malegaon-blast accused Pragya Singh Thakur from Bhopal in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Her remarks on Gandhi’s killer Nathuram Godse and former Anti-Terrorist Squad chief Hemant Karkare created a major controversy, forcing the BJP to distance itself from her. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he would not forgive Thakur for calling Godse a “patriot”.
However, her candidature was not withdrawn and she went on to win from Bhopal over Congress’ Digvijaya Singh.