Declare those opposing CAA as anti-Dalit, anti-poor, says Nityanand Rai
A day after Union home minister Amit Shah said that the government will not budge an inch on its decision to implement the Citizenship Amendment Act, his deputy Nityanand Rai said Saturday anyone opposing the law should be declared “anti-Dalit and anti-poor.”
“Most of the persecuted refugees are OBCs (other backward class) and Dalits. If anyone opposes Citizenship Amendment Act or CAA, declare the person anti-Dalit and anti-poor,” ANI quoted Rai, Union minister of state for home, as saying.
Opposition parties have criticised the amendment which makes it easier for non-Muslims to acquire Indian citizenship if they have come to India from three neighbouring countries – Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan - before 2015 after facing religious persecution.
Protests have raged across the country since the Parliament approved the amended law on December 11. Most opposition parties have alleged that the law is divisive and against India’s secular values because it makes religion a test of citizenship. The government insists that the CAA poses no threat to Indian citizens and that it has no provision to take away citizenship.
Protests against CAA and the proposed nationwide National Register of Citizens (NRC) were held in Bengaluru, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal on Friday.
Also on Friday, Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan wrote to 11 non-BJP chief ministers to shore up support against the CAA.
On December 31, the Kerala assembly became the first legislature to pass a resolution against changes to the citizenship law and the exercise to build a population register that will form the database to create a citizens’ register.
Punjab CM Amarinder Singh has backed the Kerala assembly resolution seeking the scrapping of CAA. He said it was the voice of the people which was against the legislation and the Centre should pay heed to it.