'Our responsibility to take in persecuted minorities'

'Our responsibility to take in persecuted minorities'

Justifying the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Thursday said it was India's responsibility to take in the persecuted minorities from neighbouring countries.

Addressing a gathering at Kothamba in Mahisagar district, Rupani slammed the Congress for opposing the controversial new law that grants citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

"Congress always indulges in vote-bank politics. Why is the party opposing CAA? This is a conspiracy by the Congress and other opposition parties to incite people to commit violence," the chief minister said.

Rupani was in Kothamba to unveil a statue of Dr B R Ambedkar and to inaugurate some developmental works.

After Partition, Mahatma Gandhi had said Hindus of Pakistan and Afghanistan should be allowed to return to India, he claimed, adding that this was also agreed upon in the LiaquatNehru Pact, but the agreement was not implemented.

"Due to anarchy, majority of 450 temples were demolished and only 20 remained in those countries," he said, referring to alleged temple demolitions in the three countries.

"In Afghanistan, Lord Buddha's statue was demolished using tanks. Buddhists were forced to flee. Where would they all go? Who would take them in? It is India's responsibility to give them citizenship," Rupani said.

He also claimed that the Muslim population in India increased from 9 per cent to 22 per cent while the Hindu population in Pakistan decreased from 22 per cent to just 3 per cent after Independence.

"It happened because Muslims in India are safe and prosperous. They have equal rights like other citizens. They no longer require to go elsewhere," Rupani said.

But Hindus in neighbouring countries led a miserable life of refugees, that's why the BJP promised to grant them citizenship in its manifesto, he said.

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