New Delhi: Nearly 80 Muslim leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Madhya Pradesh on Friday put down their papers resigning from the party’s primary membership in protest over the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act, terming it a “divisive” move. Also Read - PM Modi Asks BJP Workers to Educate Farmers on 'Intricacies of New Farm Reforms' & 'Save Them From Rumours'

In a written letter to the newly-appointed national president JP Nadda, the 80 leaders quit party responsibilities and dubbed the Centre’s move as “a divisive provision made on religious grounds”. Also Read - 'PM Modi is My Son, I Pray For His Long Life', Says Shaheen Bagh's 'Bilkis Dadi' Named in TIME Most Influential People

While most of the resignations came from Indore-Malwa-Nimar region, the defected leaders also included as many as 48 office-bearers of the BJP’s minority cell. Some of them were also considered close to BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya. Also Read - Farm Bills 2020: BJP to Hold 15-Day Awareness Campaign in Seven States From Today

“It was becoming increasingly difficult for us to participate in our community’s events after the CAA came into existence (December 2019)… At these events, people used to curse us and ask us how long we plan to keep quiet on a divisive law like the CAA?” one of the outgoing leaders, Rajik Qureshi Farshiwala questioned.

“Persecuted refugees of any community should get Indian citizenship. You cannot decide that a particular person is an intruder or a terrorist merely on the basis of religion,” Farshiwala added.

As a result, the BJP in the state is now witnessing fissures within the party as leaders are facing trouble to satisfactorily answer queries from the minority community.

Thousands across the nation have been protesting the Centre’s move on implementing the Citizenship law that is allegedly discriminatory on the basis of religion.

The controversial CAA, it must be noted, eases the Indian citizenship for migrants entering the country from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh before December 31. 2014. While the legislation lists citizenship for Hindu, Christian, Sigh, Buddhist and Parsi communities, it has no mention of the Muslim community fleeing religious persecution.