MEERUT: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday said religious minorities in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh are living a "life of misery" and India has fulfilled its "moral duty" towards them by enacting the CAA.
Addressing a rally in support of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in Shatabdi Nagar here, he also questioned those opposing the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and said the government has not discussed it.
Dismissing allegations that the Centre is pursuing a "divisive agenda" through the CAA, Singh said the BJP doesn't do politics on religious lines for selfish gains.
"In Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, religious minorities are living a life of misery. India has fulfilled its moral duty (by enacting the CAA)," he said.
"The entire world is accepting India's power. We don't do politics on the lines of religion for selfish reasons," he said.
The citizenship law is being viewed from a Hindu-Muslim perspective, but Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks of justice, he added.
Singh said the NDA had prepared the citizenship legislation in its first tenure, but it could not be enacted.
On the NRC, Singh said, "The government has had no discussion on the NRC. And suppose it has, then what is the problem with having a register of citizens."
"Shouldn't there be a register of citizens? Shouldn't there be a document for people to seek benefits of government schemes," he asked the crowd at the rally.
Singh said the BJP wants to do politics by winning people's hearts and asserted that the party is working to fulfil all its promises.
"Whenever a political party contests elections, it makes various kinds of promises. I was given the responsibility to prepare the BJP's manifesto for the 2019 (Lok Sabha) elections. Within seven months of being elected, the BJP has been rapidly fulfilling its promises," he said.
"I want to assure the people of India that our party will deliver on whatever it promises. We do not want to cheat the people," he said.
"By the end of 2022, every house will have a pucca roof. Tap water will reach every household by the end of 2024. PM Modi put Rs 6,000 each in the bank accounts of farmers," he added. The minister said the BJP had also taken steps for farmers' welfare.
"Farmer brothers need not worry, we will pay you every single penny for your hardwork," he said.
The CAA allows easier citizenship for Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Christians, Parsis and Jains who came to India from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh before 2015 to escape religious persecution there.
Muslim migrants don't figure on this list. Those opposing the CAA contend that it discriminates on the basis of religion and violates the Constitution.
They also allege that the CAA along with the NRC is intended to target the Muslim community in India.
However, the central government has dismissed the allegations, maintaining that the law is intended to give citizenship to the persecuted minorities from the three neighbouring countries and not to take away anyone's citizenship.