Will fight ‘tooth and nail’ against CAA: Amarinder

CM reiterates his government will not allow the implementation of ‘divisive and dangerous’ law in Punjab
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Published on Dec 30, 2019 11:58 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, LUDHIANA | By, Ludhiana

Terming the Citizenship Amendment Act as “divisive and dangerous” for the country, Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Monday said his government will not allow the implementation of the new law in the state and the Congress will fight ‘tooth and nail’ against it.

Addressing a rally after a protest march by Congress leaders here, he lashed out at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) accusing it of trying to change the Constitution’s preamble.

“All Indians should unite against their divisive and dangerous attempts to destroy the nation’s secular fabric with the draconian Citizenship Amendment Act,” said Amarinder, who was joined by senior Congress leaders Asha Kumari and Sunil Jakhar.

The BJP would not be allowed to get away with its “nefarious designs”, the chief minister said, while pointing out that protests against the “draconian” Act were going on in 16 states, including Punjab.

Reading out the Constitution’s preamble, he said secularism was the very basis of India’s foundation, which nobody could disturb.

“While articles of the Constitution are amended from time to time, not just in India but across the world, no one can tolerate tinkering with its basic structure, he said, while adding that even the United Nations had termed the CAA discriminatory.

Referring to the alleged manhandling of AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi by police in Uttar Pradesh, Amarinder said the cops could not have indulged in such behaviour without UP CM Yogi Adiyanath’s knowledge. “Aren’t you ashamed of such actions,” he asked Adiyanath, warning that the Congress would not forget this incident and “would turn the tables” one day.

The chief minister observed that while the entire world was expressing concern over the ramifications of the legislation, “those sitting in Delhi continue to be adamant, refusing to pay heed to the voice of the nation.”

He also invoked Guru Nanak Dev, saying the Sikh Guru preached secularism by saying “na koi Hindu, na koi Musalman, sab rab de bande (nobody is a Muslim or Hindu, all are God’s people)”.

Amarinder asserted that the protest march, held in Punjab’s economic heartland, would help send the anti-CAA message across India.

Talking to mediapersons later, the CM said it was shameful that Guru Nanak’s secular ideology was being attacked at a time when his 550th birth anniversary was being celebrated across the world.

Earlier, finance minister Manpreet Badal equated the alleged manhandling of Priyanka Gandhi by the UP police with that of Mahatma Gandhi’s removal from a train in South Africa.

Regarding CAA, Manpreet said if Prime Minister Narendra Modi tried to send Indians out of the country, the Congress “will turn him out of India”.

Cabinet ministers Gurpreet Singh Kangar, Bharat Bhushan Ashu, Sadhu Singh Dharamsot and Balbir Singh Sidhu, former Union minister Preneet Kaur and Ludhiana MP Ravneet Singh Bittu were also present on the occasion, besides several Congress MLAs.

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