Kolkata: A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi chose to keep silence over the nationwide National Register of Citizens (NRC) issue but, spoke about the importance of Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), BJP national working president JP Nadda said that CAA doesn’t take away anyone’s citizenship but gives the same to people.
Addressing a public rally at Shyambazar on December 23, Nadda said that Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee was misguiding the people by projecting CAA as an evil.
Significantly, throughout the rally Jai Shri Ram was chanted as a slogan, while Nadda claimed that the Act would not affect Muslims.
However, a report in The Telegraph mentioned, "Communal undertones remained palpable throughout a three-hour BJP march."
“Muslims and people who have been residing in Bengal for long will not be affected. CAA gives citizenship to people from other nations staying in this country. Banerjee is misleading everyone by being vocal against CAA,” said Nadda.
The march was organised ‘to dispel doubts and misinformation’ about the amended citizenship law.
Meanwhile, it is being alleged by the opposition parties and civil society in large that the CAA is unconstitutional. They also say that giving citizenship to any persecuted minority from any country is not an issue, but doubting everyone’s citizenship and asking everyone to prove their citizenship through NRC and NPR (National Population Register) is.
Reminding India's secular nature, Nadda stated that though Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan chose to become an Islamic country, post-Independence, India chose to become a secular one for which the Indian constitution starts with ‘We the people of India…’
“BJP abides by the constitution. And keeping the constitution in mind we have always respected the minorities. Jawaharlal Nehru and Liaquat Ali Khan had signed a pact to save the rights of minorities in both countries. CAA will help the minorities and the helpless from the neighbouring countries,” claimed the BJP working president.
Supporting Nadda, Goutam Mondol, resident of Chakdah, representing the Matua community said that Mamata Banerjee didn’t do anything for the upliftment of the Matua community.
“The Left Front didn’t do anything for us. We have a rich heritage, despite meeting our Boroma, Banerjee always gave false hopes but the BJP government is trying to save our lives and through CAA it will be ensured,” said Mondol.
Speaking about the Ayushman Bharat scheme, Nadda added that more than 2 crore people are under BPL and also that Banerjee is still vocal against the implementation of the same in Bengal.
The Calcutta High Court verdict asking the state government to withdraw all the advertisements against CAA from government portals and social media before the next hearing on January 9, was hailed by BJP national secretary and Bengal observer Kailash Vijayvargiya.
The BJP rally in Kolkata, in support of CAA and NRC was organised on the same day the Jharkhand election results were declared. Political observers believe that the election verdict came against NRC, NPR and the controversial amendments made in the Citizenship Act.
It is also significant that, while during the day, BJP organised a rally in support of CAA and NRC, by midnight, its state vice-president and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’s grandnephew Chandra Kumar Bose tweeted and questioned the party as to why Muslims had not been included in CAA.
He tweeted, “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 (sic)”