Union home minister and Bharatiya Janata Party president, Amit Shah, on Friday accused the Congress of disrupting peace in the country by spreading rumours about the amended citizenship act, and clarified that the legislation had no provision to take away citizenship of the minorities.
“Congress and company are spreading rumours that it (CAA) will strip minority communities, Muslim brethren, of their citizenship,” Shah said during a rally in Shimla to mark the second anniversary of the BJP government in Himachal Pradesh. “I challenge Rahul baba (Rahul Gandhi) that let me know if there is even a single line in the act regarding the withdrawal of anyone’s citizenship. Don’t misguide and divide people over the CAA,” he added.
While the government has maintained that the CAA will help non-Muslim migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan become Indian citizens if they fled religious persecution and entered India before 2014, activists, students and opposition parties allege that the law discriminates against Muslims.
Shah also asked the minorities, especially Muslims, to look into the CAA on the government website. “Go through the Act. No one will lose citizenship.”
Shah also mentioned the Nehru-Liaquat Pact signed by India and Pakistan in 1950 to protect minority communities within their respective territories, “India implemented the treaty in letter and spirit as protection of minorities was a duty bestowed on us by the Constitution.” He argued that in contrast, in Pakistan and Bangladesh, the population of minorities decreased to 3% and 7%, respectively. “It was PM Narendra Modi who took the courageous step to grant citizenship to these stateless people.”
Also present at the event, BJP working president JP Nadda, too, praised the Modi-led government for bringing the CAA. “PM Modi showed the will to bring the CAA, and together with the efforts of Union minister Amit Shah, the Bill was enacted,” he said.
Responding to Shah’s statement, Congress spokesperson Ajay Maken said the CAA is the greatest onslaught on the Constitution which guarantees non-discrimination to citizens on the basis of their religion, caste, sex and place of birth.