Protests have been going on intermittently in several parts of the country – Assam, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh have seen large-scale violence – after the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill sailed through both houses of parliament earlier this month.
New Delhi: At a public meeting in support of the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act in Haryana’s Kaithal district, a BJP MLA triggered a controversy with his remark that the new era in India doesn’t belong to Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru but to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah.
“This is not the India of Gandhi, Nehru and Manmohan Singh. It is the India of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah…through news and WhatsApp you have heard of people coming and threatening….Miya ji this is Narendra Modi’s India and we will wipe out within an hour if asked to,” BJP MLA Leela Ram Gurjar said on Monday.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Act for the first time makes religion the test of citizenship in India. The government says it will help minorities from the three Muslim-dominated countries to get citizenship if they fled to India before 2015 because of religious persecution. Critics say it is designed to discriminate against Muslims and violates the secular principles of the Constitution.
Protests have been going on intermittently in several parts of the country – Assam, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh have seen large-scale violence – after the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill sailed through both houses of parliament earlier this month. Over 15 have died Uttar Pradesh in the violence.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday denied that there were any detention centres in India, and implied that the nationwide rollout of citizens’ list — a matter referred to repeatedly by his home minister Amit Shah — may not be happening. The Congress and the “urban Naxals”, he said, were spreading rumours and brainwashing anyone unclear about it.
“Lies are being spread. There are leaders who told in TV interviews that NRC across India will involve such heavy expenses but I want to say why you are you wasting your mental energy in something that is not even there. (Jo hai hi nahi usme kahaan itna dimag khapa rahe ho rey),” he said.