Oppn Can Protest, Citizenship Act Will Stay: Amit Shah

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday asserted that the opposition is free to protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) but the law will not be rolled back.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi has today granted an opportunity to the persecuted minorities from the neighbouring countries to start a new life. I declare here in Lucknow, that whoever wants to protest against CAA is free to do so but this law will not be rolled back,” Shah said while addressing a gathering at the Jan Jagaran Abhiyan being conducted by BJP here.

“The opposition parties do not want to hear the truth on this matter. Mahatma Gandhi had said that the minorities in Pakistan should be given an opportunity to settle in India. Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, Rajendra Prasad, Maulana Azad and Sardar Patel also said the same thing on different occasions,” he added.

Shah further explained the need for this law by linking it to the status of minorities in Pakistan.

“After India’s partition several Hindus, Parsis, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists and Christians were left behind in Pakistan. They were exploited, tortured and forcefully converted there. I want to say to Rahul Gandhi that the partition on the basis of religion was caused due to the misdeeds of the Congress party. On July 16, 1947, the Congress party accepted the proposal to divide the country on the basis of religion,” he said.

“At the time of partition, 30 per cent religious minorities were there in erstwhile East Pakistan and 23 per cent religious minorities were there in West Pakistan. Today, the figure has come down to 3 per cent in Pakistan and 7 per cent in Bangladesh. I want to ask the protesters against CAA, where did they go,” he added.

The Union Home Minister further questioned the opposition party leaders for their stance on the citizenship law.

“Akhilesh Yadav should not say anything on this matter as he uses rhetoric on this issue. I also ask Mamata Banerjee what is the problem with CAA. Mamata had supported the idea of providing citizenship to persecuted minorities from neighbouring countries in 2003,” he said.

“We removed the Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir. We also brought in a law to curb the social evil of triple talaq in the Muslim community. The opposition is protesting against that as well. The Narendra Modi government also conducted a surgical strike and air strike against terrorists in Pakistan. Even on that the opposition raised questions and said why should misled people be bombed. If they are misled, my suggestion to the opposition is that they enlist them as their members. For us such elements are terrorists and we will treat them like that,” he added.

Shah also spoke on the proposed Ram temple at Ayodhya, “After the Supreme Court gave its order on the Ayodhya matter, we resolved to build the Ram temple in three months. The opposition also protests against this.”

Shah drew a parallel between the opposition and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and said that they speak the same language.

“In effect, the opposition speaks the same language as Imran Khan. They ask for proof of surgical and airstrikes, they oppose abrogation of Art 370 in Jammu and Kashmir and they oppose the CAA,” he said.

The CAA grants citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Jains Parsis, Buddhists and Christians fleeing religious persecution from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh who came to India on or before December 31, 2014.


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