‘Country can’t be divided on the basis of religion’: BJP lawmaker Narayan Tripathi opposes CAA
Even as the Narendra Modi government refuses to back down on Citizenship (Amendment) Act despite protests nationwide, a BJP MLA from Madhya Pradesh has taken a different stand, saying the law was creating a “civil war-like situation in every street”.
BJP MLA Narayan Tripathi said though the CAA was not beneficial to the country, the controversial measure would consolidate the saffron party’s vote-bank.
He said the BJP should either follow Babasaheb Ambedkar’s Constitution or “tear and throw it away”, as it is clear that the nation cannot be divided on religious lines.
“There is civil war-like situation in every street, which is fatal for our country. We cannot imagine development in civil war-like situation. I opposed it (CAA) when I became aware of such a situation. Not only in my constituency Maihar, but similar situation prevails in other places,” he said.
“We should either run the country according to the Constitution or the BJP should come up with one of its own and tear and throw away B R Ambedkar’s Constitution which says all the people, irrespective of religion, will live together.
“The country cannot be divided on the basis of religion,” the Maihar MLA said while speaking to reporters here.
The MLA, however, was quick to add that his outburst against CAA did not signal his willingness to join the Congress, which has been critical of the new law and held protests against it.
“I am not willing to join the Congress, neither (am I) leaving the BJP. The CAA was enacted only for vote-bank, which is benefiting the BJP. This is not going to benefit the country,” he said, adding it was his personal opinion based on “feelings and experience”.
Tripathi said a family of Hindu priests, whose members are BJP supporters, in his Assembly segment had told him that Muslims had started ignoring them.
“Something is wrong in villages when BJP supporters and priests are feeling so,” he added.
Tripathi also opposed any proposal for a National Register of Citizens exercise across the country claiming “people in villages won’t be able to prove their citizenship”.
“When villagers struggle to get a ration card, how will they be able to prove their citizenship? You (BJP) talk of unity and integrity but inflame passions,” Tripathi said.
This is not the first time the MLA has gone against the party line.
Tripathi, along with party colleague and Beohari MLA Sharad Kol, had voted in favour of the Kamal Nath-led Congress government on the Criminal Law Amendment Bill tabled in the MP Assembly in July last year.