The Trinamool Congress, the CPM and the Congress on Tuesday criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his comments on the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), saying the new law will create divisions in society as it discriminates people on the basis of religion and that it was an attempt to polarise voters of Gujarat ahead of the Assembly elections.
Modi on Sunday had said the Centre made efforts to pave way for citizenship to Sikh and Hindu families that were victims of Partition by bringing the CAA law.
TMC state general secretary Kunal Ghosh said, “The present system in the country has provisions to attain citizenship. Now a new system like the CAA will only create a division among people as it discriminates people on the basis of religion. To stop infiltration, the border security must be improved. But when it comes to granting citizenship, the Centre adopting a discriminatory approach. The people of Bengal will not allow such laws to be implemented here.”
State Congress president Adhir Chowdhury said, “Citizenship cannot be granted based on a person’s religion. The Constitution of the country does not allow such a thing. It goes against the ethos of the country. This is nothing but an attempt to polarise the people of Gujarat ahead of the Assembly polls.”
CPM leader Sujan Chakraborty said this will only open old wounds of a large number of people who faced the consequences of Partition. “The country witnessed Partition 75 years ago. Are those staying in the country for last 75 years not citizens of India? If not then who is responsible for creating such a situation? They have been used as vote bank for so long. Now after not recongnising them citizens for so long, the Centre is now talking about granting them citizenship. It is nothing but politics,” said Chakraborty.
The BJP, however, defended the Prime Minister by saying that the country believes in creating a pluralistic society. “Sikhs have gone through unimaginable pain during Partition. They have seen exodus of their people and their history is full of sacrifices. They deserve citizenship and the Centre is determined to give them their rights,” said BJP spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya.