Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh addressing a pro-CAA rally in Meerut on Wednesday.(PTI)
Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh addressing a pro-CAA rally in Meerut on Wednesday.(PTI)

‘No one can touch you’: Rajnath Singh assures Muslims at pro-CAA rally

Rajnath Singh assured Muslims that they face no danger under the Citizenship Amendment Act.
By S Raju and Utkarsha Tyagi | Hindustan Times, Meerut
UPDATED ON AUG 30, 2020 08:48 PM IST

Defence minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday sought to allay the fears of Muslims about the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and accused opposition parties of raising a bogey over the law.

He assured Muslims that nobody could touch them and suggested they could approach the government if the need arose.

At a rally in support of CAA in Meerut’s Shatabdi Nagar area, Singh claimed that the discussion on the National Register of Citizens (NRC) started after the country became independent and Assam was the first state where it had to be implemented. A discussion on it began during the Rajiv Gandhi government. “We introduced it and now they (Congress) are targeting the BJP”.

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He said the CAA was for those who were being harassed on the basis of religion in Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan. He said, “Dalit and backward classes are the most affected there and they should be given citizenship if they come here as refugees.” He further said that Mahatma Gandhi was also in favour of giving citizenship to these people and later former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was of the same opinion.

Speaking about the National Population Register (NPR) he asked whether or not a country had the right to keep a register of its citizens. He explained that such a register was important for making and implementing different social and welfare schemes in the country. He said, “Government employees will approach you to ask questions but they will not force you to answer.”

He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi always thought of equality and justice for all. He believed in the principle of “Sabka saath, sabka vikas” and the BJP did not go in for politics of fear. Without naming anyone, he said that there were forces which wanted to divide people along communal lines over CAA.

The CAA has sparked protests in various parts of the country that have been helmed by opposition parties, students and women. The protests have forced the BJP to launch its own outreach programme to counter the arguments of the opponents of the law who say that it is unconstitutional because it makes religion a test of citizenship.

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court granted the Centre four weeks to reply to the 144-odd petitions challenging the controversial law.

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