Log Out


‘Diversion’ tag on CAA

The Congress says it will fight against any draconian law

By Our Special Correspondent in New Delhi

  • Published 21.01.20, 2:40 AM
  • Updated 21.01.20, 2:40 AM
Randeep Surjewala
Randeep Surjewala (Wikiepedia)

The Congress on Monday again accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of engineering the citizenship crisis to divert people’s attention from his governance failures. It also promised to fight against any draconian law.

“Modi and (home minister Amit) Shah are using the CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act) as a manipulative smokescreen to ‘divide and rule’ in order to hide their unpardonable failings --- of India’s economy, insurmountable unemployment and shocking suicides of the youth, increasing inflation, uncontrolled agrarian crisis,” a statement issued by Congress communications chief Randeep Surjewala said.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi and home minister Amit Shah have become living symbols of sectarianism, bigotry and fanaticism, using the instrument of the State to attack India’s ethos and Constitution,” it said.

“The inherently divisive Citizenship (Amendment) Act is an attack on India’s Constitution, its poor, the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes and the minorities. To lie and to mislead is ‘rajdharma’ (ruler’s duty) for Modi. The time has come to expose the conspiracy of lies and deceit of the rulers.”

Surjewala contested the idea that the new citizenship act targeted the Muslim community alone.

“The illegal and unconstitutional (act), in its present form, seeks to exclude Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis, Muslims and others based on: (i) Country of origin; (ii) Country of residence and (iii) Religion,” he said.

“Why are Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Muslims of Sri Lanka, Tibet (China) and Myanmar (the three bordering countries) being excluded from being given citizenship of India under the present CAA? Why are Hindus or other communities of Nepal and Bhutan being denied India’s citizenship under the present CAA?

“The Congress seeks an opportunity for citizenship of India to all --- Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, Muslims and all others, irrespective of nationality, country of origin, place of residence, ethnicity or religion.”

Surjewala asked why the BJP’s allies were opposing the new citizenship law if it were constitutional.

“Why is the BJP’s own Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal opposing the CAA? Is it correct that there are only 31,313 persons belonging to minority communities (Hindus 25,447, Sikhs 5,807, Christians 55, Buddhists 2, Parsis 2) who will benefit from the present CAA, as claimed by the BJP government before the joint parliamentary committee on oath?” he said.