BHOPAL: Led by Chief Minister and state party president Kamal Nath, a peace march was carried out by the Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee against the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the recently passed Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in Bhopal on Wednesday.
Wearing Gandhi caps and holding anti-NRC and CAA placards, the peaceful protesters led by the CM and also including his cabinet colleagues marched from Rangmahal Talkies (near the Roshanpura Square) to the Old Vidhan Sabha-Minto Hall.
A massive procession which also included commoners from all communities, besides leaders from all religions, saw them holding the national flags and placards with slogans like ‘Nagarikta par kaisa sawal, hum sab isi mitti ke laal,’ ‘No NRC No CAA’ and ‘Muddo se bhatkana band karo, apas mein ladwana band karo.’
Making it clear that the NRC and CAA won’t be implemented in Madhya Pradesh, till there is a Congress government here, Chief Minister Kamal Nath said, “India is known across the world for its Constitution and the pluralistic culture and the NRC is an onslaught on both the unique possessions of the country.”
“It’s been four decades since I’ve been in active politics as a lawmaker, but haven’t seen laws like the NRC and the CAA, which are onslaught on India’s Constitution. The Prime Minister and the Union home minister are speaking in different tones on the same issue. The question, however, isn’t about what the PM or the home minister is saying, but the question is what they aren’t saying. What is written in the two laws isn’t been questioned, but we’re questioning what isn’t written in it. We’re not talking about how the NRC-CAA are mandated to be used, but how actually will it be misused. We’re against the hidden agenda behind the NRC-CAA,” said Nath.
“Presently, the country’s economy is in shambles, people are losing jobs and farmers aren’t getting fair prices for their farm produce. But instead of focusing and addressing these burning issues, the central government is diverting public attention through NRC-CAA,” Nath maintained.
When asked why was the Congress in MP and across the country opposing NRC-CAA, when PM Modi is asking those opposed to it to first read what NRC-CAA contains, the MP CM said, “Does PM Modi consider us illiterate, we know everything about NRC-CAA and the hidden agenda and ulterior motives and target behind it.”
Nath, however, also made it clear that the Congress party was only against NRC-CAA and not the National Population Register (NPR). “NPR isn’t new, even the Congress party has advocated for it, but it shouldn’t be linked to NRC.”
Importantly, the union cabinet had on Tuesday approved funding for the Census and the National Population Register (NPR), to be conducted next year.
Importantly, protests against NRC-CAA have been reported from different parts of Congress-ruled MP over the last few days. Violence had erupted in Jabalpur town after Friday prayers after which curfew was imposed in four police station areas there. The curfew was lifted three days later on Monday.
Recently, the Congress MLA from Bhopal-Madhya seat Arif Masood had announced that he would resgn from the Vidhan Sabha, if NRC-CAA was implemented in Madhya Pradesh.
Reacting to the Wednesday's Peace March led by CM Kamal Nath, state BJP spokesperson Rajneesh Agrawal said, "Even the US has blacklisted Pakistan for widespread religious freedom violations. The CAA is specifically aimed to address the cause of religious minorities, who've been religiously persecuted in Pakistan. CM Kamal Nath who led the peace march needs to make it clear why he is against grant of citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists and Christians who have been religiously persecuted in Pakistan."