New Delhi: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday lashed out at opposition leaders for spreading misinformation on Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), saying that he was ready to debate with them on any forum, also emphasising once again that the legislation will not be withdrawn. Also Read - Akhilesh Yadav's Daughter Joins Anti-CAA Protesters at Lucknow's Clock Tower
The Home Minister made these remarks at a pro-CAA rally in Lucknow, where hundreds of women have been observing an anti-CAA protest since Friday night at the iconic ‘Ghanta Ghar‘ (Clock Tower). Also Read - 150 Booked For Lucknow Anti-CAA Stir, Poet Munawwar Rana's Daughters Among 'Offenders'
Speaking at the rally, Shah, who was on Monday succeeded by JP Nadda as BJP president, accused opposition leaders like Rahul Gandhi, Mamata Banerjee etc. of spreading propaganda and illusions over CAA, which is why, he said, the BJP had to launch a public awareness campaign to counter those who ‘break the country.’ Also Read - Video Show Cops Snatching Protesters' Food; 'Don't Spread Rumours,' Says Lucknow Police
“Modi ji brought CAA, against which Rahul Gandhi and company, which includes Mamata Banerjee, Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati-the whole brigade started speaking out against it,” Shah said.
Further reiterating that there was no provision in CAA to take away citizenship, the Home Minister said that it was in fact a legislation which will give people Indian citizenship. “At the time of partition, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains constituted 30% of the population in Bangladesh and 23 % in Pakistan. But today, it’s just 7% and 3%, respectively. Where have these people gone? Those who are protesting against CAA, I want to ask them this,” he questioned the opposition.
Shah further said that it was he was who introduced the bill in the Lok Sabha and dared the opposition to discuss it publically. He also asked them to prove and show if it takes away anyone’s citizenship.
CAA has been labelled as being ‘discriminatory’ in nature as it excludes Muslims from the list of minorities from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, who will be given Indian citizenship after having fled their respective native countries to avoid religious persecution and come to India before December 31, 2014.
It is this provision of CAA which has sparked massive protests across the country.