BJP may use Nizamuddin event to push its NRC, civil code agenda

Vibha Sharma

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 3 

While corona numbers are expected to rise (as also revealed by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today) after results of tests of those who attended Tablighi Jamaat gathering in Nizammuddin come forth,  observers are expecting some major political developments in near future in view of the current happenings in the country.

The Nizamuddin gathering has already been christened the “hotspot of deadly coronavirus”.

Yesterday, BJP president JP Nadda slammed those “weakening” India’s fight against Covid19. He did not name anyone or a particular event, but it was clear who he was referring to. Today, quoting a Delhi government letter to the Commissioner of Police, leaders of the BJP’s ideological fountainhead, the RSS, said patients from Markaz are creating ruckus in hospitals. “Deployment of more police personnel is sought at hospitals as well as at quarantine centres where those from Markaz have been put up,” they said, leading observers to believe that after CAA and NPR, the incident may be used to strengthen the saffron agenda—the NRC, a population control law and a uniform civil code.

Ratings and popularity of the ruling BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi depend upon how India manages and emerges from the corona crisis. The initial days of the lockdown that saw migrant labourers trudging on India’s highways to desperately reach home was a black mark that could and would have been used by the Opposition to pin the BJP on the mat, they say.

But the Tablighi Jamaat gathering in Nizammuddin has given the saffron party an opportunity to turn around the situation and perhaps also provide a perfect opening for the key Hindutva agenda (NRC, UCC etc), which had to be put on the back burner after anti-CAA protests.

After returning back to power in 2019, the Narendra Modi government and its new Home Minister Amit Shah set about methodically to implement and accomplish the Hindutva projects by bringing Constitutional changes in Jammu and Kashmir, setting in motion the construction of “grand” Ram Mandir in Ayodhya and working towards CAA. 

“Covid19 may have brought governance and economy back on centre stage, but the Tablighi event has given a perfect political opportunity to the saffron party to complete the rest. The PM is expected to bring India out of the crisis relatively less affected than the West, which is expected to add to his goodwill, say observers. Though his response to the pandemic, the health infrastructure and the state of Indian economy will be used by the Opposition to label it as another botched project like demonetisation,” they say. 

Meanwhile, politics over Tablighi Jamaat gathering is in full swing.

Referring to Shaheen Bagh and similar anti-CAA protests in the country, leaders like Amit Malviya, Sangeet Som and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi are making no bones calling it “coronavirus terrorism”, “Taliban crime” and “Islamic insurrection” in past three months.

“Delhi’s dark underbelly is exploding! Last 3 months have seen an Islamic insurrection of sorts, first in the name of anti-CAA protests from Shaheen Bagh to Jamia, Jaffrabad to Seelampur. And now the illegal gathering of the Tablighi Jamaat at the markaz. It needs a fix!” Malviya said.

As per BJP detractors, it is an attempt to “brush under the carpet real issues like plight of migrant labourers”.

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