Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday hit out at Congress for opposing the amended Citizenship law, accusing the party and its allies of taking out rallies against persecuted minorities in Pakistan while keeping mum about atrocities inflicted on them by the country.
Addressing a rally in Karnataka’s Tumakuru, Modi defended the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, saying “we have a responsibility to protect the persecuted minorities in Pakistan” and that they can’t be left to their fate. Follow LIVE updates here
“Anti-CAA protestors should raise their voice against Pakistan’s atrocities of the past, he said. “Pakistan was formed on the basis of religion, religious minorities were being persecuted there. The persecuted were forced to come to India as refugees. But Congress and its allies don’t speak against Pakistan, instead they are taking out
“Pakistan was formed on the basis of religion, religious minorities are being persecuted there. Whether it is Hindu or Sikh or Christian or Jain atrocities have increased against them in Pakistan with time. Thousands of such people had to leave their houses had to come to India as refugees. Pakistan persecuted Hindus, oppressed Sikhs, persecuted Jains and Christians, but the Congress and its allies did not speak against Pakistan. It is our duty to help the refugees from Pakistan, to stand with them,” added PM Modi.
Modi’s remarks came amid widespread protests against the amended law which grants citizenship to non-Muslim minorities from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh. At least three Opposition ruled states — Kerala, Punjab and West Bengal — have said they will not implement the new citizenship law, and a clutch of petitions wanting it to be struck down are before the Supreme Court.
Earlier too, the Prime Minister defended the Act and took on the Opposition for spreading “rumours and misinformation”. In one of his longest speeches at Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan last month, Modi had sought to allay fears, clarifying that the law “would not impact Indian Muslims.”
The Prime Minister also lauded the removal of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir as a path towards a new era of development. “Removing Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir to remove terror and uncertainty from life there is also proving to be the beginning of a new era of development led by the people of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. And amidst all this, the path of a grand temple at the birthplace of Lord Rama has also been paved with complete peace and cooperation,” he said.
On Wednesday, political acrimony over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act intensified, with Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad reading Constitutional provisions to state governments, saying they would have to implement the Act. Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, whose resolution seeking scrapping of the Act was passed in the Assembly, reminded the Centre that state assemblies have their own privileges. Prasad cited Constitutional clauses and asked state governments to get “better legal advises” after the Kerala Assembly had passed a resolution demanding to scrap the Act.
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