Notwithstanding Opposition to the amended Citizenship Act, Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday asserted the Modi government will ensure that non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan get Indian nationality and live in the country with honour. Shah also challenged the people, who are against the new law, to oppose the legislation as much as they can.
"Come what may, the Modi government will ensure that these refugees get Indian citizenship and live as Indians with honour," he said at an event in New Delhi.
Shah asserted there was no question of going back on its implementation and accused the opposition of engaging in a "false" campaign over the legislation. Shah accused the opposition of running a "false" campaign and creating a rift between Hindus and Muslims over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA).
He dared Congress president Sonia Gandhi and leaders of other opposition parties to issue a statement saying they want all the Muslims from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh be given Indian citizenship. Speaking at a poll rally in Jharkhand on Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi threw a similar challenge at the "Congress and its friends".
Shah said there was nothing against minorities in the CAA, which was passed by Parliament last week and has received Presidential assent, and added it does not snatch away citizenship of anyone. Seeking to turn the tables on the Congress for questioning the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC), Shah said the provision was ushered in by the national party as a consequence of the Assam Accord signed by the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1985. He said the Congress had laid the foundation of the CAA, too.
Shah's remark come on a day when opposition leaders knocked on the doors of President Ram Nath Kovind, seeking his intervention in repealing the "unconstitutional and divisive" citizenship amendment law and forming a commission of inquiry to probe violent protests and the subsequent police action.
(With PTI inputs)