JAIPUR: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Friday accused the Congress and other opposition parties of spreading misinformation on the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) as he addressed a pro-CAA rally in Jodhpur which has the largest number of Hindu migrants from Pakistan in Rajasthan.
Shah turned up the heat against the opposition parties in the wake of ongoing protests in the country against the law as he kicked off the BJP’s outreach initiative on the act. Launching an 'awareness program', Shah said that the Congress was misleading Muslims over the Citizen Amendment Act and challenged party leader Rahul Gandhi to a discussion "if he has read the law."
"Rahul baba if you have read the law come anywhere for a discussion (charcha). If you haven't read it, I will get it translated into Italian," he said, in a swipe at his Italian-origin mother Sonia Gandhi.
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Shah also attacked the Congress for opposing the legitimacy that the BJP was granting to refugees from three neighboring countries. "Congress party was afraid of losing their vote bank and didn’t have the courage to grant legitimacy to these refugees. They are spreading lies and misinformation. In 2019, when Modi came to power, he had the courage to uplift these people of minority communities who were mistreated in their countries," he said.
Despite nationwide protests against the new law, Shah said that the BJP will take out 500 rallies across the country, beginning Saturday to reach out to three crore people and the Modi government would not withdraw the CAA.
"The central government will not back out on the Citizenship Amendment Act. The law is not against minorities. No provision in the amended law will take anyone's citizenship away; it is a law to grant citizenship. Even if all these parties come together, BJP will not move back even an inch on this issue of Citizenship Amendment Act. You can spread as much misinformation as you want," he said.
Shah did not miss out the chance to taunt Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot, who belongs from Jodhpur. "Gehlot is so busy in prostrating before the Sonia Durbar in Delhi. But we would like to know why he is opposing the refugees here in his home district. The thousands of Hindu migrants from Pakistan who are here want to know why Gehlot ji is now opposing them," he said.
However, Gehlot was quick to respond and targeted the BJP saying that it should shun arrogance and go for a rethink on the amended Citizenship Act. "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.
Gehlot also slammed PM Narendra Modi, asking why such a situation has emerged that they had to clarify to the public about the legislation. Clearly, after the Shah rally in Jodhpur and the BJP's nationwide campaign in support of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), the row over the CAA-NRC is set to escalate.