GUWAHATI, January 4: BJP national working president JP Nadda said that the Citizenship (amendment) Act, 2019 does not provide for allowing any fresh influx but gives citizenship to the persecuted migrants who are have already come and settled in the country for long.
“In Assam, I have been told that the apprehension is that the Citizenship (Amendment) Act will allow migration of crores of people. We should understand that by this Act Modiji is giving citizenship to only those persecuted on religious grounds and who have come here before December 31, 2014 and have already settled here,” Nadda said on the eve of launch of party’s house-to-house “CAA, 2019 Jan Jagaran Abhiyan” to reach out to people to whip up support for the Act before seeking a fresh mandate in the assembly election next year.
Saturday’s meeting attended by an estimated 70,000 party members has been termed by BJP as “a preparation meeting for the assembly election” as the anti-CAA protest across the state has placed the ruling party in a disadvantageous position at the moment. Led by Aasu, protesters comprising artistes, government workers, teachers and members of the civil society have unitedly vowed to seek a political alternative.
Nadda said, “Millions of people have had to shift overnight to protect themselves and their families from religious persecution. There were about 50,000 Sikh families in Afghanistan, today, only 2,000 families are left in Afghanistan. Where did the others go? The population of Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists, Parsis and Jains was 23% at one point of time but now they are just 3%. Where did the 20% population go? Did they change their religion or were they expelled or did they come to India to protect their dignity. The world wants to know.”
He added that the in Bangladesh too these six communities were 23% of the population which now stands at 7%.
“What Modi ji has done and Amit ji has coordinated is that government will facilitate all those who fled and came to India to live their lives with dignity here and this is being done under the Citizenship (amendment) Act and this what people of Assam need to understand,” Nadda said.
He added, “Mahatma Gandhi had said that government of India will settle all those people who could no longer stay in Pakistan because of the circumstances. Jawarharlal Nehru had said that government of India should provide relief fund to those persecuted on religious grounds. Manmohan Singh on December 18, 2003 in Rajya Sabha had raised before then deputy Prime Minister Advani ji that government should take steps for the Hindus facing religious persecution in Bangladesh. Since then till 2014 Congress did not nothing and it took Modi ji to come and take that step for the persecuted Hindus in Bangladesh.”
Nadda said it was Centre’s responsibility to ensure that the Sixth Schedule of the Assam Accord, that was signed in 1985, will be protected in letter and spirit. “I know what culture, heritage and language is. I understand the sentiment associated with language and culture. It is our responsibility to protect the culture and heritage of Assam and we will do it,” he added.
Throwing “an open challenge” to Rahul Gandhi, Nadda asked him to speak just “10 lines on the Citizenship Amendment Act” and in “two lines” why he opposes it. (TNN)