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CAA brought in to correct historical injustice, says PM

PUBLISHED ON JAN 28, 2020 11:47 PM IST


Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said that the Citizenship (Amendment) Act was brought in to correct “historical injustice” and “fulfil an old promise” to religious minorities in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. Some political parties, he said, were indulging in vote bank politics over the new law.

The PM’s comments come even as protests against the law are continuing across the country. The amended citizenship law fast-tracks the citizenship process for non-Muslim minorities fleeing religious persecution in Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

Addressing the Annual Prime Minister’s National Cadet Corps (NCC) Rally 2020 here, Modi said: “This was also the wish of Gandhiji and the spirit of the Nehru-Liaquat agreement in 1950…In these countries, people were tortured because of their faith and it was the responsibility of India to give them asylum, give them citizenship. But the minorities were abandoned.”

“It is India’s responsibility to give refuge to those people who have been oppressed due to their faith. These people have faced historical injustice... and to stop this and fulfil our old promise, we have brought the CAA,” Modi said.

In his 45-minute speech, the PM touched up on a host of issues including Triple Talaq, Enemy Property law, Ram Janmabhoomi, Delhi’s unauthorised colonies and the opening of the Kartarpur corridor (which allows Sikh pilgrims to access Guru Nanak’s resting place).

“It is only due to their faith that daughters are victimised in Pakistan and atrocities are being committed against Dalits. Sometime back Pakistan army issued an advertisement for appointing safai karamcharis (cleaners). It said only non-Muslims could apply. This advertisement was for our Dalit brothers and sisters. Should we keep sitting quietly?” Modi asked.

While some people are pretending to be the voice of Dalits here, they refuse to see the atrocities on Dalits in Pakistan, the PM said.

He said the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government has addressed several important issues which were put off for decades including initiating crucial reforms in defence, modernising the armed forces, setting up a national war memorial, bringing a law that criminalized Triple Talaq, constructing the Kartarpur corridor, clamping down on corruption and developing the country’s north-east.

The PM said the creation of the post of chief of defence staff to increase the coordination and synergy among the three services had been in limbo for decades but his government implemented the proposal of the Kargil Review Committee. “If 1 + 1 + 1 equals three, the appointment of the CDS will transform the combined power of the three services to 111.”

Talking about the Ram Janmabhoomi issue, the PM said the court could not announce its verdict on the matter for years as hearings kept getting postponed and all types of tools were used to cause delays. “But today an important case has been decided. People giving it a communal angle have been exposed,” he said.

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