New Delhi: BJP president Amit Shah sought to reassure the Muslim community Sunday and said the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) has no provision about taking away the citizenship of minorities and alleged that the Congress scions, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, were instigating ‘riots’ by ‘misleading’ people about the law.
Mr Shah said its beneficiaries are largely Dalits and poor people and that those opposing the law are against Dalits and the poor. Addressing a meeting of Delhi BJP workers here, he called Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and the Gandhis ‘anti-Dalit’ for questioning the law. The BJP president said AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had extended support to ‘rioters’ by saying she will visit the homes of those houses behind the riots.
“(Arvind) Kejriwal has misled people. The Congress, especially Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi, has instigated riots by misleading people. Do you want a government in Delhi which incites riots for politics,” he asked.
Mr Shah also attacked Pakistan for ‘terrorising’ Sikhs as he referred to the recent attack on Gurdwara Nankana Sahib by a violent mob in Pakistan and asked Opposition leaders to open their eyes to atrocities against minorities in the neighbouring country.
“This is an answer to all those opposing the CAA. Tell me if these Sikhs who were attacked the other day in Gurdwara Nankana Sahib are not allowed to enter India, where else will they go?” he asked. The opposition leaders were spreading a pack of lies over the CAA, he said.
Mr Shah also urged the BJP workers to conduct an intensive campaign to inform the masses about the law that helps the persecuted. The CAA seeks to grant citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Christians, Jains and Parsis who came to India by December 31, 2014 from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh over religious persecution.
The opposition was inciting the minorities against the CAA by alleging they will lose their citizenship, he said. Mr Shah assured members of the minority communities that none of them will lose citizenship due to the CAA, saying the law was about giving citizenship to minorities from three neighbouring countries, and not taking it away from anybody.
Sunday’s meeting with booth-level workers, attended by Mr Shah and BJP working president J.P. Nadda, is being considered significant as it has virtually launched the party’s campaign for the Delhi Assembly polls.
Mr Shah said the opposition parties were habituated to the “politics of opposition and votebank” and referred to their stand against measures like the law on triple talaq among Muslim men and the nullification of Article 370. They also opposed construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya, he said, noting that a recent Supreme Court order had paved the way for building the temple.
The opposition parties have led the protests against the CAA, saying it is against the Constitution as it makes religion a ground for citizenship. In the past few weeks, the country has been witnessing protests against the amended citizenship law.
The Centre has repeatedly said it has so far not discussed the proposal for a National Register of Citizens.