Congress and NCP slam Pradhan’s ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ remarks
He was speaking in context to the ongoing protests across the country against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC)Updated: Dec 30, 2019, 17:11 IST
Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) have criticised union minister Dharmendra Pradhan’s statement that only those who will say “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” will stay in India.
Addressing the 54th state conference of Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the student wing of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), in Pune on Saturday, Pradhan said, “Whosoever comes will stay here. We have to accept the challenges on this issue. We have to make this thought clear. In Bharat, it’s mandatory to say ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ and only such type of people will stay.”
He was speaking in context to the ongoing protests across the country against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC).
Reacting to Pradhan’s remarks, Congress leader Kapil Sibal tweeted: “Dharmendra Pradhan: only those who say “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” will be able to live here. The truth Pradhanji is that patriotism is an emotion. You may feel it and not express it in words or you may not feel it and yet say “Bharat Mata Ki Jai”. Which do you prefer?”
While Congress leader Prithiviraj Chavan denied to comment on the issue dismissing Pradhan’s comment as silly, Rajya Sabha member and Nationalist Congress Party member Vandana Chavan said, “I really do not understand what’s happening in this country. All these years in a country where we have believed all religions are one and a secular nation, it is rather unfortunate that senior ministers are making such comments. One cannot digest as to why these people making such unwarranted comments.”
During the Pune event, Pradhan while lashing out at the protestors said, “Are we going to make our country a dharmashala (rest house) now where anyone can roam freely? Will the sacrifice given by Bhagat Singh and Subhas Chandra Bose go waste? Did uncountable Indians fight for our freedom so that 70 years after freedom this country will think about whether or not to keep accountability of citizenship or not?”
Pradhan put the onus of violence caused in various parts of the country during the anti-CAA-NRC protests on the protesters.
“When citizens residing in this country are subjected to violence in the name of citizenship, the relevance and responsibility of organisations like ABVP increases. The people who mislead the country, break it, and perpetrate violence and propaganda can only be answered by nationalist groups,” he said.
In various protests across the country, multiple people have been reported to have died while protesting. The death toll includes two in Assam, around 20 in Uttar Pradesh, two in Karnataka, among others. Anti CAA-NRC demonstrations are being held in various parts of the country.