'Rahul can take the infiltrators he loves to Italy'

PTI file photo

Union minister Giriraj Singh on Saturday accused the Congress of wanting to "divide the country" by spreading lies and confusion over the Citizenship Amendment Act, and said if Rahul Gandhi has "love for infiltrators", he can take them to Italy.

Asking the Congress to refrain from a "policy of double-standards", Singh claimed that the UPA government had earlier talked about the citizenship law, but did not go ahead with it due to "appeasement politics".

"The Congress wants to divide the country by speaking lies.... If Rahul Gandhi has love for infiltrators (immigrants), let him take them to Italy," the Union Animal Husbandry, Dairy and Fisheries Minister said.

Singh's comments come on a day when Gandhi slammed the BJP and RSS during a visit to Assam -- which had seen violent protests against the CAA -- expressing apprehension that the state is returning to the path of violence, owing to the "anti-people" policies of the saffron party.

Addressing a public rally at Guwahati, the former Congress president appealed to people to be united and tell the BJP that the culture and identity of Assam "cannot be attacked".

Continuing his attack on the Congress, Singh told reporters in Ranchi that only the grand old party and 'tukde- tukde' gangs have problems with the CAA.

"The BJP is cleansing sins of the Congress, which is spreading confusion and creating an atmosphere of fear," he alleged.

The minister said even Mahatma Gandhi said Hindus and other minority groups in Pakistan had been citizens of India, and if they returned to the country, they should be treated with the same dignity.

"The Congress accepted Partition on grounds of religion. Thereafter, people following Hindu, Sikh, Christian, Buddhism, Jainism and Parsi religions faced persecution; the honour of sisters and daughters were robbed and people were intimidated into conversions," Singh claimed.

Referring to an alleged hate speech by AIMIM leader Akbaruddin Owaisi in 2013, he said people will never forgive those who had talked about "'Hindu mukt Hindustan', insulted the national flag and conspired to create disturbance in the country."

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