Analysis | Congress targets Amit Shah after Delhi Police protests

Spokesperson calls out Home Minister’s ‘political failure’

The unprecedented protests by Delhi Police (DP) may have been over by Tuesday evening after an 11-hour stand off but the Congress clearly wants to use them to target Union Home Minister Amit Shah and his image of being “an iron-willed leader”.

After the Narendra Modi-led government’s decision to remove special status for Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) guaranteed under Article 370 by moving a resolution in Parliament, Mr. Shah became the face of the decision as he moved the Presidential resolution on the floor of the House.

Also read: Lawyers of Delhi district courts continue to abstain from work, litigants offered flowers

The decision may have taken the Opposition and the mainstream politicians in the Kashmir surprise, but for the supporters of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Mr. Shah was merely implementing one of the core political beliefs of the party, with the Uniform Civil Code and the Ram Mandir among the others.

‘Strong, decisive’

The Modi government 2.0 was not just about the “strong and decisive leadership” of the Prime Minister but also his trusted colleague, who so far continues to double up as Home Minister and the party president.

Given this backdrop, the DP protests that saw police personnel surrounding the police headquarters (PHQ) at Delhi’s busy ITO intersection, was an opportunity the Congress didn’t want to miss.

The protests by police personnel were triggered by violence at the Tis Hazari Court Complex on November 2

Congress’ chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala, a lawyer by training, who had made a scathing attack on the police for “unprovoked firing” at lawyers, changed tack on Tuesday when police personnel got into an impromptu protest.

‘Shah’s silence’

As the story grew bigger and bigger, and more and more TV crews stationed themselves outside the PHQ, Mr. Surjewala held a press conference to question Mr. Shah’s silence on the matter.

“DP personnel are seeking justice by surrounding their own headquarters for the first time in 72 years of Independence, and the law and order is in shambles,” Mr. Surjewala said, calling it a “political failure” of Mr. Shah.

Following up on the press conference, Congress’ chief spokesperson on Wednesday tweeted a nearly 2-minute-long video in which the party asked one question: when the law and order system was out on the streets, where had the Home Minister disappeared?

The sub-text of Congress’ messaging was clear: if Delhi Police personnel, who come under the Home Ministry, had to take to the streets to resolve their grievances, how will Mr. Shah’s Ministry inspire confidence among common people?

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Printable version | Feb 18, 2020 11:42:38 AM |

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