Congress, allies stoking fire over Citizenship Act: PM Modi in Jharkhand
The stir against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, which allows citizenship to migrants from Hindu, Parsi, Sikh, Jain, Christian and Buddhist faiths fleeing persecution in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, has spread across the country.Updated: Dec 16, 2019 00:52 IST
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday accused the Congress and its allies of fanning violence across the country over the amended citizenship act, adding that opposition parties’ actions prove that the decision to pass the amendment bill was “1,000 per cent right”.
The stir against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, which allows citizenship to migrants from Hindu, Parsi, Sikh, Jain, Christian and Buddhist faiths fleeing persecution in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, has spread across the country, triggering demonstrations, arson and clashes in parts of the North-east, West Bengal, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, among other states. Five people have died in Assam in the clashes between protesters and security personnel, with many sustaining injuries on both sides.
Addressing an election rally in Jharkhand’s Dumka district, the PM said: “The Congress and its allies are stoking fire over the citizenship act. Their [the Opposition’s] actions reflect that the decision to pass the [Citizenship (Amendment)] bill in Parliament is 1,000 per cent correct. They are doing arson because they did not get their way. Those who are creating violence can be identified by their clothes itself.”
Modi said the scenes of violence strengthened people’s confidence in his government. “No hope is left from Congress and its allies that they will do any good for the country. But the country is watching and people believe that Modi and Parliament saved the country by bringing in the act.”
The PM’s remarks came a day after the Congress accused the government of dividing and weakening the country through CAA. At a rally in Delhi, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi said the amended citizenship act will “destroy and shred” the soul of India. “But the country will fight against the act. Suffering injustice is the biggest crime. It’s time to rise to save the democracy and Constitution. The time has come to save the country and we have to struggle hard for it,” she said.
The Congress refuted the PM’s allegations and said he was trying to divert attention from the “shortcomings” of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) governments at both the Centre and Jharkhand, which is voting in a five-phase election. “Prime Minister’s speech revolved only around the Congress party. He didn’t mention for a single occasion about hunger death, farmer’s suicide, migration of youths due to unemployment, corruption and law and order situation,” the Congress’s Jharkhand incharge, RPN Singh, said.
At Sunday’s rally, the Prime Minister also accused the Congress of “tarnishing” the country’s image overseas. “For the first time, the Congress did what Pakistanis has been doing for long,” he said in reference to the protest held outside the Indian High Commission in London on Saturday against the amended act.
Listing the achievements of the BJP governments at the Centre and Jharkhand, he said, “I am your sevak (servant). I have come here to give an account of the development work done by our party in the state.” He claimed that leaders of the opposition parties have only built palaces for themselves without paying any attention to the problems faced by common people.
(With agency inputs)