In show of strength, CAA backers gather at Mumbai’s Kranti Maidan too draws crowds

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on December 27, 2019 Published on December 27, 2019

Fadnavis accuses Opposition of misleading Muslims

The Mumbai city saw two peaceful rallies with opposite agendas over the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens on Friday. Students and social activists gathered at the Azad Maidan in South Mumbai to protest against the new Act and the nationwide citizen registration. At August Kranti Maidan, right-wing activists, supported by the BJP, also turned up in huge numbers in support of the Modi Government.

A protester at Azad Maidan said that the Modi Government is an authoritarian regime. It thinks it can do anything. It is this government’s responsibility to protect and not oppose the Constitution. Many actors and celebrities were also present at the Azad Maidan.

A national issue

Chaitanya Swami, a PhD scholar, told BusinessLine the Modi Government was not just against the Muslim community, but the whole country. NRC, CAA and NPR is not only a political-religious issue, but also a national issue, which will affect everybody. Just like demonetisation, the whole economy will suffer, he said.

The rally supporting the Citizenship Act at August Kranti Maidan was led by former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

Fadnavis told reporters that the Opposition parties are misleading Indian Muslims. Pakistan did not fulfil the assurance during the 1947 Partition that minorities will be protected. Hence, India has to look after them because they are ‘our people’. The opposition is deliberately trying to create misunderstanding among Indian Muslims about the Act. For vote-bank politics, the opposition is trying to create unrest, he alleged.

The BJP gathered the supporters under the Sanvidan Sanman Manch; they carried national flags along with placards with pro-CAA and NRC slogans. The Sanvidan Sanman Manch is organising such rallies in various parts of the city. Last week, a similar rally was held at Dadar in Central Mumbai, which is a political stronghold of the Shiv Sena.

The NPR, sanctioned by the government earlier this week, is seen by critics as a precursor to the NRC, an exercise to identify illegal immigrants.

(With agency inputs)

Published on December 27, 2019
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