BHOPAL: A political controversy has erupted over Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Thawar Chand Gehlot’s speech at a BJP workers program in support of Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in Mandsaur district of Madhya Pradesh on Sunday.
Addressing the program, the union minister hailing from Madhya Pradesh said, “Bahut saare log bolte hain ki sahab jab dharmik aadhar par Pakistan Islamic Rashtra ban gaya, toh hamne yahan musalmanon kyo rakha hai, sabko vahin bhjena thaa aur vahan ke Hindu, Sikhs, Isaiyon aur jitne bhi they unko sabko yahan bula lena thaa. (Many people question that when Pakistan was formed on religious lines as an Islamic nation, then why were Muslims allowed to live here, they should have been sent to Pakistan and all Hindus, Sikhs, Christians and other religious minorities from there should have been allowed to settle here).”
Gehlot further added, “Ab us samay ki paristithi ke hisaab se jo hona thaa vo ho gaya. Parantu agar isi prakar ka vatavaran bana raha toh vaisi paristithi hamare saamne aa sakti hai (Whatever took place then happened as per situation of that period. But if the present situation continues then we could be heading towards a similar situation akin to that past.”
Taking a swipe at the Congress, Gehlot said, “Congress was founded by a Briton and people often say that Congress’s end too would be scripted by those from the foreign origin. And Sonia Gandhi hails from that origin only. It’s upon the Congress people to understand it. Mahatma Gandhi wanted to disband the Congress organization after country’s freedom. It seems the Congress is heading towards fulfillment of Gandhiji’s wish, due to its present words and deeds.”
Sharply reacting to the union minister’s speech, MP Congress leader Narendra Saluja (who is also the media coordinator to Chief Minister Kamal Nath) said “the union minister’s statements have exposed the BJP’s real face on CAA. The BJP is hell bent at dividing the nation on communal lines, the Congress will expose the real face of the BJP among people.”
Congress MLA backs CAA, but opposes NRC
Meanwhile, in a significant development, HS Dang, the Congress MLA from Suvasra seat of Mandsaur district has backed CAA, but opposed NRC.
“NRC and CAA should be viewed separately. Under the CAA if those tortured in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh are granted Indian citizenship then we shouldn’t have any problem. But when it comes to NRC, then demanding evidence from Indian nationals living here since generations to prove their citizenship is wrong and cannot be supported. CAA and NRC are separate and the politics being played by mixing both is wrong,” said Dang.
Importantly, Dang was among those Congress leaders in Madhya Pradesh, who had also supported the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution by Narendra Modi government last year.
Reacting to the significant development, former CM and BJP national vice president Shivraj Singh Chouhan lauded the Congress MLA’s candid statements over CAA and added that other Congress leaders should also follow Dang by first properly understanding the real facts of CAA, instead of misleading people over it.