NEW DELHI: Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Friday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi was teaching new lessons in civic responsibility to MPs by saying if they voted against a bill in Parliament, it was a "protest" against the House.
The former Union minister said the Congress was not against giving refuge and citizenship to those persecuted in Pakistan irrespective of their religion but wanted a non-discriminatory law that applied equally to all such people.
"The prime minister is teaching MPs new lessons in civic responsibility. I did not know that if an MP voted against a Bill in Parliament, that MP was 'protesting against Parliament'," Chidambaram said in a tweet in Hindi.
He said the Congress was only demanding a humane and non-discriminatory law that should apply equally to all persecuted people irrespective of their religion.
"We are not against giving refuge and eventually citizenship to those persecuted in Pakistan, be it Hindus, Sikhs, Jains or Christians."
"We only demand that the law should apply equally to all persecuted people including Pakistani Ahmadiyyas, Sri Lankan Tamils, Bhutanese Christians, Myanmarese Rohingyas etc.
The ideal law should be one which is humane and non-discriminatory," Chidambaram said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has hit out at the Congress and its allies for opposing the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), saying the ongoing protests in the country are against Parliament and called on the agitators to raise their voice against Pakistan's atrocities on its minorities for the last 70 years.
The prime minister has also said protecting and supporting the minorities of the neighbouring countries, who have sought refuge in India, is our cultural and national responsibility.
"Those protesting against the Parliament of India, I want to tell them that the need is to expose Pakistan's deeds on the world stage.
If you want to protest, protest and raise voice against Pakistan's deeds for the last 70 years, you should have that guts," he said, addressing a gathering at the Siddaganga Math in Karnataka on Thursday.
"If you want to shout slogans, shout against the way in which atrocities are happening against minorities there; if you want to hold rallies, hold it in favour of the Dalits and downtrodden people who have come from Pakistan (to India). If you want to stage a dharna, do it against Pakistan's deeds," Modi said.