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‘No question of going back on CAA’

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 21, 2020

Home Minister Amit Shah addresses a rally in support of CAA , in Lucknow on Tuesday   -  Reuters

Home Minister repeats PM’s charge that Opposition is spreading canards; Congress hits back listing ‘nine lies’ of the government

In the wake of countrywide protests against Citizenship (Amendment) Act, Home Minister Shah on Tuesday asserted that there is no question of withdrawing the law. Shah accused the Congress and other opposition parties of spreading canards that the new law will rob the Muslims of their citizenship and challenged them to a debate.

“Let whoever wants to oppose this law do it, but the CAA is not going to be withdrawn. Those who want to split the country are spreading canards about this law. Rahul Gandhi and company, Akhilesh Yadav, Mayawati, Mamata Banerjee and the communists are spreading lies that Muslims and minorities will be deprived of their citizenship. I challenge these leaders to a public debate,” said Shah at a public rally in Lucknow where protests have broken out and an estimated 25 people have been killed allegedly in police action.

“If any clause of the CAA takes away the citizenship of anyone, including Muslims, they can tell me. The agitations and sit-ins, which are being organised in the country against it, are wrong,” he said. “The Congress has become blind due to vote bank politics,” he added, and blamed the party for Partition.

“Rahul-baba open your ears and listen carefully. Because of the sins of your party in 1947, the country’s partition on religious basis was accepted,” he charged. Quoting numbers, he said the proportion of Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains in Pakistan and Bangladesh dropped drastically after Partition. “Where have they gone? They were either killed, converted or came to India as refugees. These blind people cannot see that atrocities were committed on crores of people,” he said.

Shah asked opposition parties where they were when crores of people were killed in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh on the basis of religion. He said five lakh Pandits were displaced from Kashmir, but these parties did not utter a word. Now, because of Prime Minister Modi, a new chapter has begun in the lives of these people,” he said.

SC verdict on Ayodhya

Shah referred to the recent Supreme Court verdict that allows the construction of a Ram temple at the disputed Ayodhya site. The crowd cheered when he said the construction will begin in three months. Accusing the opposition of speaking the language of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, the BJP leader said, “I don’t know what relation they have with Khan.”

Shah claimed that Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Patel and Indira Gandhi advocated citizenship to Hindus from Pakistan but the Congress party never implemented the suggestion. On Mamata Banerjee, he charged, “She was demanding citizenship for Dalit Bengalis. Now when the citizenship is being given to them, she has problems.”

Shah claimed that during the Rajasthan Assembly elections, the Congress had advocated citizenship to Hindus from Pakistan.

Congress response

The Congress issued a prompt response, fielding veteran leader Kapil Sibal to list ‘nine lies’ that the government has told with regard to the CAA.

“They facilitate citizenship on the basis of religion thereby discriminating against specific communities whereas the law of the land, whether it is the Constitution or the Citizenship Act, as it existed before this amendment, has been non-discriminatory. They are saying that that it is not linked to National Register of Citizens (NRC) whereas the President, in his address to Parliament, as well as the Home Minister himself, had said in Parliament that they will bring in a national NRC,” said Kapil Sibal. “They are challenging us to a debate, I challenge them to a debate because they are indulging in total fraud,” he claimed.

Published on January 21, 2020

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