Reacting to the protest by Congress and other opposition parties against the amended Citizenship Law, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday challenged them to declare if they are ready to give Indian citizenship to all people from Pakistan. “Citizenship (Amendment) Act neither takes away the rights of an Indian nor harms him in any manner. I dare Congress, its friends to publicly declare they are prepared to accord Indian citizenship to all Pakistanis,” said Modi at a rally in Jharkhand.
The prime minister also accused the Congress of peddling lies over the Citizenship Act and creating an atmosphere of fear among Muslims. “The Congress is spreading lies, creating an atmosphere of fear for Muslims over the Citizenship Act. I give my assurances no citizen in the country will be affected by the law,” he stated.
Defending his government decision to bring the new law, Modi also said, “I want to know how the new citizenship law encroaches upon rights of Muslims or any Indian citizen.”
He also urged the college and university students protesting against the amended Citizenship Act to bring forth issues for debate and discussion in a “democratic” manner.
“I urge the students from universities and colleges to understand their importance, the importance of the place they are studying in. Debate and discuss the decisions and policies of the government and if you find anything wrong, protest in a democratic manner, make your voice reach the government. This government listens to and understands everyone’s voice, emotion,” said Modi.
He further said that “urban naxals” were trying to instigate youth in the country to create trouble. The prime minister had earlier said that those protesting against Citizenship Act can be identified from their clothes. The comment was widely criticised as many believed it was targetted at Muslims.
On Monday, the prime minister had condemned the ongoing violent protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act in various parts of the country, saying that such agitations are “unfortunate and deeply distressing”. His remarks had come after protests against the contentious Act in Delhi’s Jamia Milia University had turned violent, with police forcing their way into the varsity campus and launching an assault on the students.
PM Modi also said his government solved the Ram Mandir dispute peacefully which was pending from a long time. “They kept doing politics, scaring people, and the country kept waiting for Ram Mandir. We followed the national policy and the path for a glorious Ram temple in Ayodhya became a reality,” he said.
The prime minister also said that people of Jharkhand have voted fearlessly in the first four phases of Assembly elections. “Your blessings on the BJP are giving sleepless nights to the Congress, JMM, RJD and the Left parties,” he told people attending the rally.