Updated: December 24, 2019 12:00:12 pm
Amid the nationwide protests against the new citizenship law, Chandra Kumar Bose, BJP vice-president for West Bengal and grandnephew of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, questioned why the legislation does not include Muslims. In a series of tweets, Bose said India shouldn’t be equated with any other nation as it is a country open to all religions and communities.
“If #CAA2019 is not related to any religion why are we stating — Hindu, Sikh, Boudha, Christians, Parsis & Jains only! Why not include #Muslims as well? Let’s be transparent…If Muslims are not being persecuted in their home country they would not come,so there’s no harm in including them. However, this is not entirely true- what about Baluch who live in Pakistan & Afghanistan? What about Ahwadiyya in Pakistan?” Bose wrote on Twitter.
His tweet comes hours after BJP working president JP Nadda led a rally in Kolkata in support of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). “Muslims have flourished in our country, but Hindus have suffered torture in Pakistan. Pakistan is among the three countries from where non- Muslim minorities would be granted citizenship if they meet the criteria…” Nadda had said during the rally.
There have been massive protests across the country since the legislation that grants citizenship to non-Muslims from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, was introduced in Parliament earlier this month. Critics have opposed the law saying that it is designed to discriminate against Muslims and violates the secular principles of the India Constitution.
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To allay the fears among people, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday dialled down the rhetoric and distanced his government from the pan-India NRC. However, senior ministers and party leaders, including Home Minister and BJP president Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and BJP working president J P Nadda, have made public statements about a pan-India exercise — as recently as earlier this month.
Amid the growing concerns, chief ministers of West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Kerala have expressed reservations over NRC. The BJP is also facing opposition from its allies like the Akali Dal and Janata Dal-United.
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