PANAJI: BJP working president J P Nadda on Friday advised the Dalit leaders who are opposing the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) to "improve their thinking".
He was addressing a gathering of more than 20,000 people here in support of the controversial legislation.
"Dalit neta jo aaj CAA ka virodh kar rahe hai, unko kehna hai ki apni mati sudharo. (Dalit leaders who are opposing the CAA, they should improve their thinking)," he said.
"You have to understand that 70-80 percent of the people who have come from neighbouring countries to India (due to religious persecution) are from Dalit communities," Nadda claimed.
"They are oppressed people who have suffered. We have to bring them into mainstream," he said.
He also challenged Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to "speak ten lines" on the CAA, with at least two lines giving reasons for opposition.
Union Minister of State for Defence Shripad Naik, Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant and BJP Goa unit chief Vinay Tendulkar also participated in the rally.
Naik alleged that the Congress was trying to create confusion in the minds of people as it was losing ground all over the country.
The Congress had supported proposal of amendment in the past, but now that it was in opposition, it was calling it anti-minority community, he said.
"Everyone who is opposing this act knows it is not against the minorities but they pretend to be unaware of it," Naik said.
Sawant said Goa residents who hold Portuguese passports will not be affected by the CAA.
"Those who are creating fear in the minds of minorities should stop it," he said.
The gathering was preceded by a procession from Patto on the outskirts of Panaji to Azad Maidan here.