Congress should take lead role in anti-CAA protests: Siddaramaiah

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Senior Congress leader and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Thursday suggested that the party should take the lead role in the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act and National Register of Citizens.

His statement came even as Congress' men urged the leadership here to take a more active role in the protests, pointing out that BJP was holding door-to-door campaigns in favour of the act, while the Congress has not even prepared pamphlets or handbooks highlighting why CAA and NRC were bad for the country.

The Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee had organised a seminar for partymen on CAA and NRC here that was attended by KPCC president Dinesh Gundu Rao, senior leader K H Muniyappa among others.

"The law that has been brought is not just anti-people and anti-constitution, it is against humanity," Siddaramaiah claimed.

Addressing partymen, he said " is the duty of each and every congress man to oppose CAA, NRC and NPR.

According to me, we (Congress) have to directly take leadership of the protests, we have to do it. Doing it (protesting) behind someone else will not help."

Several Congress men present at the meeting too echoed the sentiments expressed by Siddaramaiah that the party should be taking the lead in the agitation. Highlighting that Congress was lagging behind in reaching out and convincing people, several party workers said BJP councillors and MLAs were going door-to-door seeking support for the CAA. At least party pamphlets or handbooks should be made available to them on concerns about CAA and NRC implementation, the Congress workers said. Earlier in his address, Siddaramaiah said "Congressmen will have to tell BJP with one voice that we will not allow this country to become a Hindu Rashtra.."

He alleged that the CAA was discriminatory and based on religious grounds. "...this is what we are opposed to, we have no objection to granting citizenship or legalising those who have been staying here as refugees.

But, why are you keeping Muslims out of it?" he questioned.

Alleging that CAA and NRC were part of BJP and RSS' larger plan to make India 'Hindu Rashtra', the former Chief Minister claimed they were trying to violate the very preamble of the constitution. "They were never in favour of the constitution, and wanted it to based on Manusmriti. Constitution preaches equality of all and secularism, which they are trying to violate," he said.

Siddaramaiah wanted to know what was the need for the Act now, especially when the country was facing grave issues like unemployment, economic and social issues. " (BJP) are saying you have brought it as it is mentioned in your manifesto, but you had mentioned several other things in your manifesto, why don't you implement them first?" he questioned.

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