Bhopal: The voice of dissent is growing louder within the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Madhya Pradesh against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the Nation Population Register (NPR). On Thursday, as many as 700 party workers resigned en masse from the party in Jabalpur.
Workers, as well as senior functionaries of the BJP’s unit in the district including its head and former chancellors left the party to register their disapproval against the CAA, the NRC and the NPR. All workers were from the Minority Cell of the BJP.
“We have resigned en masse from the party in public interest. The anger against the controversial Act has been growing among citizens with each passing day. So, its our duty to stand by them and democracy is all about public voice,” said Shafique Hira, Jabalpur BJP head.
The saffron party, however, denied that the workers were members in order to brush aside their resignations. On Friday, however, workers who had resigned showed their primary membership certificate to the media in response to the party.
Two days ago, Narayan Tripathi, the BJP MLA from Maihar also opposed the controversial law. “The BJP should either follow Babasaheb Ambedkar’s Constitution or ‘tear and throw it away’, as it is clear that the nation cannot be divided on religious lines,” he said.
“There is a civil war-like situation in every street, which is fatal for our country. We cannot imagine it developing into such a state of affairs. I opposed it (the CAA) when I became aware of it. A similar situation prevails not just in my constituency Maihar, but also in other places. The country cannot be divided on the basis of religion,” Tripathi said while speaking to reporters.
A fortnight ago, 170 workers from the BJP Minority Cell in Khargone and close to 50 workers from Bhopal resigned en masse in protest of the controversial law. About 10 districts in the state have been on an indefinite strike against the bill including the tribal-dominated regions of Khargone and Barwani.
The BJP’s State Minority Cell chief, Sanawar Patel, could not be contacted despite several attempts.
The BJP has close to 550 office bearers at their minority cell in Madhya Pradesh including the state head, secretary, district heads and so on. “Of them, more than 350 workers have left the party,” said former party leader Jawed Baig.
“The party has between 12,000 and 15,000 workers in the state. However, as of now, 70% of the workers have left the party in opposition to the Act. If this continues, the BJP will left with no Muslim workers in MP soon,” Baig added.