Goa: 4 pro-CAA Cong leaders quit, 3 of them joins BJP

Four Goa Congress leaders resigned from the party on Thursday to protest against its stand on the Citizenship Amendment Act and three of them later joined the BJP, ahead of the saffron party's rally here on Friday.

Former Panaji Congress block committee president Prasad Amonkar, former block committee secretary Dinesh Kubal, former youth leader Shivraj Tarkar and North Goa minority cell chief Javed Sheikh quit the party in the morning, saying they were in favour of the amended citizenship law.

Amonkar, Kubal and Tarkar later joined the BJP, ahead of the party working president J P Nadda's public awareness rally on the Citizenship Amendment Act here on Friday.

The three were welcomed into the BJP by party MLA from Panaji Atansaio Monserratte.

Later, talking to reporters, Amonkar said they joined the BJP as they support the Citizenship Amendment Act and want to create awareness about it.

"We resigned from the Congress because we oppose the wrong stand taken by it on the CAA and the National Register of Citizens. We found that the Congress was misguiding people, especially the minorities," Amonkar alleged.

Congress should stop "misleading people and creating fear in the minds of minorities for political mileage," he said.

"We all were part of the Congress' protest held last week against the CAA and NRC. But, we realised that the leaders, through their speeches, were trying to create fear in the minds of minorities. This is not right," he said.

Goa is a peace-loving state and the Congress is trying to instigate the minorities, Amonkar alleged.

The Citizenship Amendment Act has been enacted through a democratic process and seeks to give citizenship to refugees who have had centuries of cultural affinity with the Indian ethos, he said.

"The CAA addresses concerns of minorities in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. Members of the majority community in those countries, who want to apply for Indian citizenship, will still be able to so as per the existing provisions," Amonkar added.

The Congress has been opposing the Citizenship Amendment Act, terming it as "unconstitutional". 

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