Chidambaram bats for Rahul Gandhi over Amit Shah’s CAA-debate challenge
Congress leader P Chidambaram took on home minister Amit Shah over the Citizenship Amendment Act on Saturday and asked why he wanted to debate Rahul Gandhi when he himself had not answered a single question on the controversial act in the parliament.
Addressing an anti-CAA protest in Kerala, Chidambaram said “everything” was wrong with the law.
“Amit Shah must go back and listen to the debates in Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha, he did not answer a single question and now he is challenging Rahul Gandhi for a debate on it. Everything is wrong about this law,” said Chidambaram.
A day earlier on Friday, Amit Shah had accused the Congress of spreading rumours and disrupting the peace by misleading people.
“Congress and company are spreading rumours that it (CAA) will strip minority communities, Muslim brethren, of their citizenship. I challenge Rahul Baba (Gandhi) to point out one (such) provision,” Shah had said.
Chidambaram argued that amending the legislation on citizenship required careful deliberations but the BJP led government had passed it in haste.
“This is an important moment in India’s history. The Citizenship Amendment Bill was approved on December 8 by the Union Cabinet. On December 9, they introduced it in Lok Sabha and passed it at 12 am. On December 11, they introduced it in Rajya Sabha. In the Constituent Assembly, the members discussed the Citizenship bill for two months and the present government passed this bill in three days,” Chidambaram said.
Chidambaram alleged the law introduces the “principle of religion” against the ethos of the Constitution that treats every Indian equally.
“This is a struggle heralded by people who believe they are Indians. Everybody has got several identities but there is one big identity which is that we are all Indians and everybody is equal in India. The CAA destroys the basis of our constitution. If they had a two-third majority in the parliament they would have amended the constitution,” he added.
The government denies the law is discriminatory and says it in reality, aims to help the minorities who have been victims of discrimination on religious grounds in the three neighbouring countries of Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, by granting them speedy access to Indian citizenship. The government has also assured that the law doesn’t threaten citizenship of any Indian Muslim.