Hubballi: Mounting a strong defence of the Citizenship Amendment Act, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday challenged Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to prove that the new law would take away citizenship from Indian Muslims, as he advised him to read the act completely.
Terming those against CAA as "anti-Dalits", the BJP national President, accused the Congress of dividing the country on the basis of religion and creating confusion among the minority community.
He attacked the Congress on its opposition to scrapping of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir and said both Rahul Gandhi and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan sought evidence on surgical strikes and are opposed to abrogation of Article 370 besides saying CAA should not be implemented.
The BJP national president also accused the Congress and other opposition parties of indulging in vote bank politics on CAA.
Addressing a public meeting here on the new Act as part of the BJP's nationwide 'Jan Jagran Abhiyan,' he said: "Rahul baba, I have come to challenge you from this stage- read the CAA completely.
If there is any clause that takes away citizenship of anyone, decide on the place and time our Pralhad Joshi (Parliamentary Affairs Minister) is ready to debate with you."
"They (Congress and others) are trying to spread lies..I want to tell Muslim brothers of the country that no one can take away your citizenship, no one wants to take away also.
You have the same rights on this country as much we have. Nothing will happen to you," he said, clarifying that there was no clause in the CAA to take away citizenship from any one, rather it provides citizenship.
Taking potshots at the Congress, he said: "Rahul baba, what do you think- that you will keep on spreading illusion and BJP workers will keep watching it?"
BJP has been organising 'Jan Jagran Abhiyan' across the country that included door-to-door visits by BJP workers to spread awareness about the Act, following the nationwide anti-CAA protests that had even turned violent in several places.
Shah alleged that an attempt was being made to bring people onto the streets with an intention to instigate riots, and the Congress, Rahul Gandhi and their allies were responsible for it.
Targeting Rahul Gandhi, he said "I had told a historic truth in the Parliament also, I want to tell it today also.
Rahul Gandhi listen with open ears-if there is any party that divided the country on the basis of religion it was done by the Congress party."
Highlighting religious persecution, murders, religious conversion and rapes against minority women, Shah said in 1950 Rahul Gandhi's great grandfather- Jawarharlal Nehru, had signed an agreement with Liaquat Ali of Pakistan that both sides will protect and give citizenship to minorities.
"What happened in 70 years? India has kept up its promise....but in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh," he said.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah in Hubli: I want to ask those opposing Citizenship Amendment Act, what will you gain by going against dalits who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan? Those who are opposing CAA are anti-dalits. #Karnataka pic.twitter.com/Zvv9DoTAMA
— ANI (@ANI) January 18, 2020
Hindus were 30 per cent in both east and west Pakistan after independence, it has reduced to 3 percent in Pakistan today, and in Bangladesh it is 7 per cent now.
Claiming that Prime Minister Narendra Modi brought in the CAA to protect the human rights of those facing religious persecution, he wanted to know what was causing pain for the Congress, Communist party, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, JDS, BSP and SP on the matter.
"What is their problem...they are indulging in vote bank politics on CAA. BJP never indulges in vote bank politics," he said.
Noting that Nehru, Sardar Patel, Rajendra Prasad, and Maulana Azad had promised citizenship to religious minorities from neighbouring countries, he said: "Rahul Baba all these people were from the Congress, they were great leaders."
"You did not keep up the promise despite being in power for 70 years, Narendra Modi is today trying to fulfil that promise by giving them citizenship," he said, pointing out that Mahatma Gandhi also had spoken about giving citizenship.
"If you don't listen to him (Gandhi), whom will you?"
Pointing out that more than 70 per cent of religious minorities in neighbouring countries, who have come as refugees to India, are Dalits, Shah said those opposing CAA are "anti-Dalits."
"What do you want to gain by opposing Dalits?.... Dalits will seek answers when you go to them asking for votes.."
Shah said the Congress was not just against CAA but on all nationalist issues like Article 370, Ram Mandir, surgical and airstrikes.
Attacking Rahul Gandhi on Article 370, he said prime minister Modi has rectified the mistake committed by Rahul's great grandfather (Nehru).
Alleging that during 10 years the UPA government remained silent on cross border terrorism, Shah described then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as "Mauni baba."
He highlighted the surgical and airstrikes inside Pakistan after Uri and Pulwama terror attacks under Modi rule.
Drawing comparison between Rahul Gandhi and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on their opposition to scrapping article 370 and CAA, among others, Shah said: "I cannot understand what is the relationship between Congress leaders and Imran Khan.
Pakistan is using Rahul Gandhi and Congress leader's statements against India in the UN, Congress should be ashamed.."
Slamming Rahul for supporting the "tukde tukde gang" by citing freedom of speech as reason, Shah said, "you can criticise me and my party how much ever you want..but if anyone shouts slogans against Bharat Mata, their place is in jail, behind bars."
Ahead of Shah's visit to the city, a group of protesters raised "Go Back Amit Shah" slogans here and released black balloons in the air.
Shah, who landed in Bengaluru earlier in the day, attended an event organised by the Vedanta Bharati, inaugurated Bengaluru South MP Tejasvi Surya's city office and paid respects to the Brindavana (final resting place) of Vishwesha Theertha Swamiji of Pejawar mutt.
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Updated Date: Jan 19, 2020 12:29:48 IST