Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad Sunday said the central government will interact with the country’s youth and clear any doubt they have regarding the new citizenship law, but will not talk to those who are part of the ‘tukde tukde gang’ and are raising Azadi slogans.
“We will talk to youngsters to clear if there is any confusion about the act but not with those who are talking about Azadi and are part of tukde tukde gang,” news agency PTI quoted Prasad saying at an event on the act organised by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad.
Stating that citizens have the right to protest in a democratic country like India, he said there can be no “compromise with national security”. “We welcome criticism but such voices and views which talk about dividing the country are not acceptable,” he said.
He said the government has underlined multiple times that this law doesn’t apply on the existing citizens of India, adding that senior Congress leaders including former prime minister Manmohan Singh on various occasions too have talked about the need for granting citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs and people suffering from religious persecution in other countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh.
The passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act in Parliament has stoked country-wide protests with students, opposition leaders, activists among others terming it unconstitutional. A number of non-BJP state governments, including that of Odisha, West Bengal and Kerala, have also refused to implement the new act.
On Wednesday, Prasad had hit back at the states rejecting the Citizenship Act, saying they have a “constitutional duty” of implementing laws passed by Parliament. These states should also seek appropriate legal opinion before taking such decisions, he added. Prasad referred to Clause 2 of Article 245 of the Constitution. He said Parliament can make laws on subjects under the Union List which includes citizenship. “Article 245 (clause 2) states that no law made by Parliament shall be deemed to be invalid on the ground that it would have extra-territorial operation,” PTI quoted him as saying.
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