'Deliberate attempt made to spread rumours on CAA'

"The Act deals with giving citizenship to the persecuted minorities from three countries - Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh," the BJP leader said.

Former Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Monday said a "deliberate" attempt was being made to spread rumours and create a divide in society over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.

Without naming any party, he said some political outfits were trying to disrupt harmony in society, and asserted that minorities in the country were safe.

"Rumours are being spread about the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. There is a deliberate attempt to create a divide in society and it is condemnable. The Act is not against any religion, and there is no provision in it to take away the citizenship of any citizen of the country," Fadnavis told reporters here.

The Act deals with giving citizenship and not taking it away, he stressed.

"The Act deals with giving citizenship to the persecuted minorities from three countries - Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh," the BJP leader said.

He said there is a "deliberate attempt to spread rumours and misunderstandings" about the Act, and some political parties are at the forefront to create a divide in society and break the harmony.

"In India, everybody is safe and secure, including minorities," he added.

There have been anti-CAA protests across the country with several of them turning violent, leading to arson and damage to property.

The new law seeks to provide Indian citizenship to non-Muslim refugees who came to India before December 31, 2014, to escape religious persecution in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

Fadnavis also accused the Maharashtra government of "betraying" farmers with its farm loan waiver announcement, and demanded that the Uddhav Thackeray-led dispensation give Rs 25,000 per hectare to cultivators for crop damage.

The Thackeray government on Saturday announced a loan waiver of up to Rs two lakh for farmers, with a cut off date of September 30, 2019.

"The jugglery of the loan waiver scheme is that loans that have been declared outstanding till September 2019 will be waived, which means all these loans will be from previous years." the leader of opposition in the state Assembly said.

Fadnavis said his government had already written off loans of upto Rs 1.5 lakh, so the waiver announced by Thackeray did not add much.

"The government which was formed by betrayal is now betraying farmers as well," he said.

He said farmers from Kolhapur, Sangli and Satara were severely affected by unseasonal rains in October, but left in the lurch by the new Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi government (comprising Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress as allies).

"Crops on around 94 lakh hectares were damaged due to floods in the region and farmers faced 100 per cent losses. The chief minister promised Rs 25,000 per hectare to the affected farmers, but nothing was given to them in this (winter) session," Fadnavis said.

He also described the recently concluded winter session of the state legislature as a "mere formality".

"There were only six ministers, no calling attention motion took place, and whatever discussions were held, there were no answers (from the government)," he said.

He said the BJP would hold protests on various issues concerning the people and the party's state unit chief Chandrakant Patil will soon announce the programme.

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