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CAA will not take away anybody’s citizenship: Amit Shah

Abhishek Law Kolkata | Updated on March 02, 2020

Amit Shah, Union Home Minister   -  Debashish Bhaduri

At a rally to launch BJP’s outreach programme, Home Minister says CM Mamata misleading minorities

Days before the local body elections scheduled to be held here in West Bengal, Union Home Minister Amit Shah launched the BJP’s outreach programme ‘Aar Noi Annay’ (No More Injustice). The initiative is aimed at countering Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s ‘Didi Ke Bolo’ (Talk to Didi) programme.

Shah, during his first rally in Kolkata post the passage of the amended Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), reiterated that the new law will not “take away anyone’s citizenship” and assured minorities that their rights were protected. His speech, however, avoided any mention of the riots that rocked New Delhi last week.

Incidentally, the Union Home Minister’s visit to the city saw a series of protests by the Left Front and Congress in several areas. Roads were blocked and effigies were burnt and there were sporadic clashes between protesters and the police.

“The CAA will be implemented and refugees will be granted citizenship come what may,” Shah said at the rally making it clear that there will be no rollback of the law.

“We will win Bengal with two-thirds majority,” he claimed, referring to next year’s Assembly polls.

The move to update the National Registration of Citizens (NRC) nationwide and the CAA was said to have been one of the main reasons for the BJP’s defeat in the bypolls in the State and a set back for the the party, which had won 18 of the 42 seats in the Lok Sabha polls last year. The confusion among the voters over the Central Act seems to have cost the saffron party a chunk of votes that it had earlier managed to wean away from the Left, Congress and the ruling Trinamool.

The new outreach campaign is expected to reverse the electoral set-back the party had suffered.

The BJP has been holding ‘street corner meetings and carrying out door-to-door campaigns to build a pro-CAA narrative here.

‘Minorities being misled’

At the rally, Shah countered Banerjee’s anti-CAA campaign while alleging that the Chief Minister was “deliberately misleading the minorities”. A fear psychosis was being created with minorities being told that the target of CAA was their citizenship and rights.

“No minority will lose citizenship. Let me assure them of it. The CAA grants citizenship and fast-tracks it in case of some religiously persecuted minorities. It does not take away anyone’s citizenship,” he said.

By opposing a law passed in Parliament, the Chief Minister was disrespecting the founding fathers of the Constitution and also those who fought for the rights of refugees.

The controversial Act aims to fast-track citizenship of religiously persecuted minorities from the neighbouring countries of Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

Earlier in the day, Shah inaugurated the Special Composite Group Complex of National Security Guard (NSG). He later visited the Kalighat temple.

Published on March 01, 2020

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