To counter ‘propaganda’, BJP to launch campaign about amended Citizenship Act

PTI New Delhi | Updated on December 13, 2019

Under the Opposition’s attack over the amended Citizenship Act, the BJP is set to launch a public awareness programme to inform people about its features and benefits, and also “dispel the propaganda” that the legislation is against any community.

Though the party intends to start a nation-wide campaign, it will run an intensive exercise in states where the legislation’s beneficiaries are in large numbers.

West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh told PTI that the party will launch a mass contact programme and distribute literature about the law. He estimated that over 2 crore people can get Indian citizenship under the amended Act. At many places, the campaign will start from Saturday, a day after the Winter Session of Parliament ends.

According to the amended Act, members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan till December 31, 2014 and facing religious persecution there will not be treated as illegal immigrants but given Indian citizenship. Ghosh said the BJP will help these people in applying for Indian citizenship.

Lucknow meet

The BJP is likely to hold a meeting in Lucknow on Saturday over the issue as it works on launching a publicity campaign. The party’s Uttar Pradesh General Secretary Vijay Bahadur Pathak said the BJP will “dispel” the “opposition-sponsored propaganda” that the Act is against any community and tell the masses how it will benefit a large number of minorities from the three countries who had been living in poor condition in India after fleeing their nations due to religious persecution.

Opposition parties such as the Congress and the Trinamool Congress have dubbed the law “discriminatory against Muslims” and “violative of the Constitution”, and argued that it makes religion a ground for citizenship.

The BJP has asserted that the amended Act not against any community. Pathak said the amendment was about giving citizenship and not denying it.

Published on December 13, 2019

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