File photo of BJP MLA Narayan Tripathi.(Twitter?Narayan Tripathi)
File photo of BJP MLA Narayan Tripathi.(Twitter?Narayan Tripathi)

‘Either follow Constitution or tear it away’: BJP lawmaker speaks against CAA

Hindustan Times, Bhopal | By HT Correspondent
UPDATED ON JAN 29, 2020 10:17 AM IST

A lawmaker of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has raised questions on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act or CAA, saying the country should not be divided on religious lines.

“I am from a village and I am speaking looking into the present circumstances of villages. First of all, either we should respect and follow Baba Bhim Rao Amedkar’s Constitution or tear it away. It has been enshrined in the Constitution that a division is not possible in the secular country on the basis of religion. Despite this the division is being effected. This proves a point that either you are with the Constitution or against it,” BJP MLA Narayan Tripathi said in Bhopal on Tuesday.

“A poor man in village or urban area keeps on wandering due to want of information to get his Aadhar card made. Hence, collecting so many papers to get the citizenship paper is an impossible task,” he further said.

Tripathi’s remarks came on a day when Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his government brought in the CAA to correct “historical” injustices and recalled the Nehru-Liaquat pact to assert that the law fulfills India’s “old promise” to religious minorities in neighbouring countries.

But Tripathi said the country is facing civil conflict (griha kalah) because of the new law. “People have stopped looking at each other. In my village Muslims used to give us respect and used to wish us every time we met but today they don’t like to see us. In a country, village, home and locality which is affected by a civil conflict (grih kalah) peace is not possible over there. We talk of global brotherhood (Vasudhaiv kutumbkam) and unity but if we divide the society in the name of religion the country can’t go ahead,” thr BJP MLA said.

He, however, said that this was his personal opinion and wished to convey it through media.

Tripathi was with Samajwadi Party (SP) before he joined the BJP. Tripathi had embarrassed his party in July last year when he, along with another BJP MLA Sharad Kol, voted for a Congress government bill despite Opposition BJP abstaining from voting.

After maintaining distance from the party for more than a couple of months, he showed up at the state BJP headquarters again in Bhopal in October while claiming he had never left the party.

State Congress media in-charge Shobha Oza said, “BJP MLA Narayan Tripathi exposed the BJP’s communal agenda which is being pushed by the central government to divert the attention of people from its failure on all the fronts of governance.”

State BJP spokesperson Rajneesh Agrawal said, “The BJP MLA didn’t speak against the party or party leadership. He has some confusion in his mind about a particular act. The party will try to allay it by apprising him of the correct information.”

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