Union Minister Prakash Javadekar. (Photo: PTI)
Union Minister Prakash Javadekar on Thursday accused Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal of taking credit for the work done by the Central government. Javadekar also said the Delhi chief minister has only given advertisements while a lot of work in the capital city has been done by the Central government.
"The central government has done a lot of work in Delhi and Kejriwal has only given advertisements. Kejriwal ki aadat hai -- kaam central government ka hota hai aur topi woh pehan lete hain [the Centre does the work and Kejriwal takes credit]" Prakash Javadekar told India Today TV National Affairs Editor Rahul Shrivastava.
Prakash Javadekar also rejected the opinion polls that have suggested a clean sweep for the AAP this time around too. He said Arvind Kejriwal had only won in 2015 as it cashed in on the popularity of Anna Hazare's India Against Corruption movement.
"Good advertisements don't mean good leadership. Last time the AAP won riding on the Anna Hazare movement's success. After it was over, Arvind Kejriwal ousted Hazare," Javadekar told India Today TV.
With days to go for the state assembly polls in the national capital, uncertainty looms over who will be BJP's chief ministerial candidate. Speaking to India Today TV, Prakash Javadekar said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be the face of the BJP campaign for the 2020 Delhi Assembly elections.
Speaking on why the BJP hasn't been able to name a challenger to Aam Aadmi Party's Arvind Kejriwal, Prakash Javadekar said, "Some states have a problem -- in some states, leaders get created while in others they don't."
Pitching the Delhi battle as PM vs CM, Prakash Javadekar said, "PM Modi is a credible leader and in Delhi, he will lead the poll effort."
The Information and Broadcasting minister said going into the Delhi poll campaign without a CM face is "a part of BJP's strategy." He added this has been BJP's poll strategy in many states.
ON ALLEGATIONS ON DELHI POLICE
Prakash Javadekar said that there can't be two standards on the issue of police entering campuses, citing recent incidents in two leading Delhi universities: Jamia Millia Islamia and Jawaharlal Nehru University.
"'Why did you enter in Jamia?' and, 'Why didn't you enter JNU?' are the charges against the police. You can't have two exactly opposite charges on the same organisation," Prakash Javadekar said.
Alleged police brutality at Jamia Millia Islamia on December 15, 2019, kindled the growth of protests against the amended Citizenship Act into a nationwide movement.
At JNU, on the other hand, the Delhi Police was accused of reacting too late when masked goons went on a rampage on the evening of January 5, 2020, targeting students and staff in what the teachers association called an "orgy of violence".
JNU's Vice-Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar made comments similar to Prakash Javadekar's in a recent interview with India Today TV.
"When we call the police, people criticise and ask why did you call the police to an educational institution. When we don't call the police, we are asked why did you not call [the police]? We don't call the police at the drop of a hat," he said.
"First, we would like to assess the situation and see if our security guards can manage the situation -- and if there is a real law and order situation, then the police are called," Jagadesh Kumar said.
The Delhi Police claims it received a request to enter the JNU campus only after 7 pm.
The JNU Students Union's vice-president, on the other hand, has claimed that calls made to the police for two hours went unheeded.
On DEEPIKA PADUKONE
Prakash Javadekar said the Narendra Modi government and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) don't support the calls made to boycott Deepika Padukone's film Chhapaak.
His comment comes a day before Chhapaak's release amid boycott calls from various right-wing groups and some BJP leaders.
Prakash Javadekar said, "The BJP and the Modi government don't believe in issuing boycott calls against people."
Asked about some BJP leaders criticising Deepika Padukone for visiting the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and standing in solidarity with the protesting students, Prakash Javadekar said people also have a right to speak their mind.
"If people have the freedom to say something, similarly these leaders also have a right to speak their minds," Prakash Javadekar said.
On Tuesday, two days after a mob of masked men armed with rods and canes barged into JNU hostels and beat up students and teachers, Deepika Padukone visited the university and expressed her solidarity with the protesting JNU students.
Delhi: Deepika Padukone joins students at Jawaharlal Nehru University, during their protest against #JNUViolence. pic.twitter.com/9P6IMzs0ASANI (@ANI) January 7, 2020
Since then, many leaders in the BJP and the party's supporters have been criticising her action with some giving a boycott call against her film Chhapaak that releases on Friday.
Meanwhile, commenting upon Sunday's violence in JNU, Prakash Javadekar alleged that the spiral of violence was started by student leaders of left-wing organisations.
"Investigation will reveal who was behind the violence in JNU. There is a no climate of discontent against the Modi government. There is a calibrated attempt to whip passions by spreading misinformation," Prakash Javadekar claimed.
ON CAA, NRC AND ARTICLE 370
As nationwide agitations continue over the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC), Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said all is well in the country.
"There is no climate of discontent against the NDA government," he said.
Javadekar said misinformation is being spread deliberately to fuel unrest. "There is a calibrated attempt to whip up passions by spreading misinformation," the Union minister said.
He said that the people of India have supported the government's decision from the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir to the passing of the CAA. "There are more marches happening in the favour of what the government has done than otherwise," he said.
Speaking on Article 370, Prakash Javadekar said Kashmir is an inseparable part of India and claimed that peace has been prevailing and the region is making progress since Article 370 of the Constitution was repealed.
"Post-abrogation of Article 370, there has been peace and reduction in the terror activity in Kashmir," he said.
As some political detainees have been released, questions have been raised over when three former chief ministers of the erstwhile state -- National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah, his son Omar Abdullah and People's Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti -- would be released.
Talking about the release of the three ex-CMs, Prakash Javadekar said, "The release of the three ex-CMs of Jammu and Kashmir will be an administrative decision."
Prakash Javadekar also countered allegations of human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir. As the region continues to be under lockdown for than 150 days, Javadekar said, "There is no suspension of basic rights of a citizen in Kashmir."
The I&B minister also spoke of the contentious CAA and NRC and said the issues won't affect the upcoming Delhi elections.