BJP to raise pro-CAA pitch in Bihar

BJP to raise pro-CAA pitch in Bihar

PTI file photo

The BJP is set to raise the pitch in Bihar in support of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, with two of its top leaders flowing down to the state to address public meetings and raise awareness about the contentious legislation, a senior party official said on Monday.

Union Home Minister and party chief Amit Shah is scheduled to address people in Vaishali district on January 16, two days after Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath holds a public meeting in Gaya, state BJP vice-president Devesh Kumar told PTI.

A massive door-to-door campaign is currently underway in the state, after its launch on Sunday with rallies addressed in Patna by Union minister of state for Home Nityanand Rai and Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi.

Notably, Bihar witnessed massive anti-CAA protests in the recent past, including statewide bandhs called on different days by Left parties and the RJD and its allies.

A demonstration staged by a motley group of student outfits in December had caught the police off guard as the agitators went on the rampage, setting on fire a police outpost and many vehicles at Kargil Chowk, a stone's throw from the district police chief's office and the collectorate.

Meanwhile, the state BJP mocked Pavan K Varma, the disgruntled national general secretary of the JD(U), for his open letter in protest against "unilateral announcement" on National Population Register (NPR) exercise by the deputy CM.

Modi had made the disclosure at a press conference on Saturday and issued a stern warning that "administrative and punitive action" will be taken against officials, found guilty of dereliction of duty.

State BJP spokesman Nikhil Anand came out with a flurry of tweets, addressed to Varma, pointing out that what he assumed to be a "unilateral announcement" by the deputy CM has been set in motion by a notification issued by the state government last month.

Sharing a screenshot of the notification dated December 18, 2019, signed by the additional chief secretary- cum-state coordinator for Census, Anand asked Verma to "take back the letter accusing our Deputy CM".

"Sir! India is not America, which has dual citizenship. Do you want the state government to take independent issues related to citizenship and census which is the sole jurisdiction of the Union government and Parliament as per the Constitution of India," Anand said sarcastically in another tweet, tagging both Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and the Deputy CM.

Interestingly, Modi's disclosure seemed to have caught more than one senior JD(U) leader off guard. Shortly after Saturday's press conference, Shyam Rajak - a national general secretary of the ruling party and member of the state cabinet - had told news channels that the deputy CM might have expressed his "personal opinion" and "no decision has been taken on the matter so far by the chief Minister or by the cabinet".

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