'Marginalised oppn trying to foment unrest over CAA'

'Marginalised oppn trying to foment unrest over CAA'

He said the CAA has a strong humanitarian justification as it seeks to grant citizenship to religious minorities from the three Muslim majority countries who had taken shelter in India. (PTI photo)

The BJP on Saturday alleged that a marginalised opposition was trying to foment unrest in the country over the amended citizenship act, but the people would not let them succeed in their machinations. 

Asserting that the act was passed in Parliament to grant citizenship to persecuted religious minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jairam Thakur said it was not meant to strip minorities in India of their citizenship as was being propagated by the Congress and other opposition parties. 

"A marginalised opposition is trying to incite violence in the country over the CAA but the people are in favour of the amended law and will never let them succeed in their machinations," he said.

Thakur was speaking at a press conference here as part of the party's programme to counter the misinformation being spread on the issue by the opposition parties, including the Congress.

He said the CAA has a strong humanitarian justification as it seeks to grant citizenship to religious minorities from the three Muslim majority countries who had taken shelter in India. 

Terming Congress's opposition to the act strange, he said even Mahatma Gandhi was in support of persecuted religious minorities from neighbouring countries being given their due in India. 

He said the need for CAA would not have arisen if the terms of the Nehru-Liaquat agreement by which India and Pakistan committed themselves to protecting the interests of their religious minorities were honoured by Pakistan.  

"While Pakistan has failed to honour the agreement,  India has followed terms of the agreement in letter and spirit. The fact is corroborated by the drastic decline of religious minorities in Pakistan which stood at 23 per cent at the time of Independence and at 3.7 per cent in 2011," he said.

"That means large-scale conversions took place in Pakistan. Those who resisted were persecuted and forced to escape to India as refugees," Thakur said.

On whether stiff opposition to the CAA by some states would come in the way of its countrywide implementation, the BJP leader said the states did not have a constitutional mechanism to resist its implementation. 

"It is a law passed by both Houses of Parliament for countrywide implementation and the states have no constitutional mechanism to stall it," he said in reply to a question.               Terming it a historic decision taken in national interest like the abrogation of provisions of Article 370 or the ban on triple talaq, he said it deserves to be welcomed by all.                 Thakur said it was yet another example of what a strong leadership like the one provided by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah was capable of doing for the country.

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