NEW DELHI: The amended citizenship law is meant to give citizenship to religiously persecuted refugees and not to take away the citizenship of Indians of any religion, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu told trainee diplomats from Bangladesh on Tuesday.
He also said that India is aware of the heavy burden on Bangladesh as a result of the influx of lakhs of displaced persons from the Rakhine State of Myanmar and that it appreciates Dhaka for its humanitarian gesture towards these displaced persons.
He said that Bangladesh could count on India's full support towards their bilateral efforts with Myanmar in the repatriation of displaced Rohingyas back to Myanmar, a statement from the Vice President's Secretariat said.
The vice president's remarks on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act come days after Bangladesh foreign minister A K Abdul Momen and Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan cancelled their visits to India amid protests against the legislation in the northeast.
Naidu emphasised that India wants peace and stability in the neighbourhood and friendly relations with all its neighbours.
Without naming Pakistan, he said Kashmir was a settled issue and deplored the attempts by a neighbouring country to aid, abet, fund and train terror outfits to promote cross border terrorism.
The vice president sought Bangladesh's support in restructuring and reforming multilateral organisations such as the United Nations, so that policies that affect the entire world were not decided by a few.
He told the trainees diplomats that the world was multipolar now and it was time to restructure multilateral organisations to reflect this new global reality.
Observing that India attaches the highest importance to Bangladesh, he said "Bangladesh is special for us. Therefore, your visit to India is also special for us."
The Vice President said that India always believed that a strong, stable and prosperous Bangladesh was in India's interest and "we would like to partner in your journey of progress to become a developed country by 2041," the statement said quoting him.