JODHPUR: Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Friday targeted the BJP, saying it should shun arrogance and go for a rethink on the amended citizenship act.
He also slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi, asking why such a situation has emerged that they had to clarify to the public about the legislation.
His remarks came on a day when Union Home Minister Amit Shah held a rally in support of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in Jodhpur.
"When the whole country is opposing it, then the BJP-led Centre should leave behind its arrogance and rethink," Gehlot said, alleging that the saffron party was still "adamant" on implementing the Act despite opposition from nine states.
Welcoming Union Home Minister Amit Shah to his home district for the rally, the CM said, "PM Modi used to give 'Mann ki Baat' speech and people used to listen to him.
Now, why such a situation has developed that he has to give clarification regarding the Citizenship Amendment Act, NPR and the NRC."
"He is sending people all over the country, all leaders to go and explain to the public. Why such a situation has developed. I want to ask," he added.
The chief minister said the situation was so serious that people from all over the country were on the streets.
"They have come on the streets; the new generation has come on the streets. The youth of the country are worried about their future. Why such a situation developed," he asked.
Questioning the circumstances under which the citizenship legislation was passed in Parliament, Gehlot said it was during former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's tenure that provisions of the National Register of Citizenship and the National Population Register were made.
But there was no ruckus at that time, he said, adding that it needs to be understood why it happened now.
He also advised the BJP to examine the impact of the National Register of Citizens in Assam, where he said lakhs of Hindus have been left out of it.
Gehlot also accused the BJP of polarising the country.
"It is easy to talk about a Hindu Rashtra. It is easy to advance the agenda. Ask them, when this is done, how many pieces of this country will be there. Do PM Modi and Amit Shah have the answer," he said, adding that a country can't be built on religion.
"Pakistan became a Muslim country after the Partition. Then it further broke into two nations. A country can't be built on religion," he stressed.
The chief minister also said the government should reconsider its decision because it was not taken in consultation with the opposition parties.
Referring to deaths of infants at J K Lone Hospital in Kota, Gehlot said there was no point of a visit by the health minister as an expert team had immediately conducted a probe at the hospital.
He claimed that deaths of infants happened even during the BJP's tenure but their number had reduced under the Congress rule.
He promised to remove the shortcomings found at the hospital.