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Tuesday, February 25, 2020

‘CAA, NRC could be agenda to raise BJP tally in Upper House’

Azad, who was told by the court to not attack the PM while being granted bail, said the “Bharatiyata (Indianness)” in him is stronger than in many in the government.

Written by Liz Mathew | New Delhi | Published: January 18, 2020 3:21:50 am
caa, caa news, caa protest, chandrashekhar azad, chandrashekhar azad news, caa protest today, caa protest latest news, citizenship amendment act, citizenship amendment act latest news, cab protest, cab today news, caa protest delhi, caa protest delhi news, caa protest jama masjid, caa protest jama masjid news, bhim army chief chandrashekhar azad, bhim army chief chandrashekhar azad news Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad addresses a press conference in the national capital. (Express Photo by Liz Mathew)

Speaking at the Indian Women’s Press Corps premises after visiting Jama Masjid, Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad asked the Centre to repeal the new citizenship law, which he called a “black law”, and maintained that future generations would not forgive him if he keeps silent over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remark that those “spreading the fire” can be “identified by their clothes”.

Azad, who was told by the court to not attack the PM while being granted bail, said the “Bharatiyata (Indianness)” in him is stronger than in many in the government. “Let my blood and Modi ji’s blood go for a test. I have been put in jail many times, but I never spoke against the country, because this nation is greater than personalities. I never behaved like a separatist. In fact, Bharatiyata in my blood will be much more than in many,” he said. He added that “insaniyat (humanity)” is greater than caste and religion.

Although he refused to divulge future political plans, Azad, who has emerged as a prominent Dalit icon, slammed BSP leader Mayawati for being “absent” when the “country is facing troubles”, and the ruling BJP of using the CAA and proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC) as “political agenda”.

“This could be a political agenda. Because now that the Supreme Court has given verdict on Ramjanmabhoomi, Ram Mandir issue is over. You never know, this issue could die down after West Bengal elections are over. They (the BJP) have less numbers in the Rajya Sabha, and these issues (CAA and NRC) could be raised to increase that number. But for us, it’s not politics, it’s about the Constitution and the rights it provides.”

Responding to a question on BJP working president J P Nadda’s remark that the CAA would be beneficial to Dalits as a majority of refugees from neighbouring countries belong to backward communities, Azad said: “Let Nadda ji have some concerns about Dalits in this country. Let us talk about this country first before worrying about other countries. We are hassled here and when a Dalit raise his voice, they take action against him and send him to jail without any evidence.”

He also said the government brands anyone who speaks against it anti-national. “Government means the country. They have made it like that. This is not so in a democracy, in which opposition has more roles than the government. This trend is anti-democratic.”

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