By Pragya Kaushika
New Delhi [India], Dec 23 (ANI): The Central government on Monday targeted Congress chief Sonia Gandhi by alleging that the opposition party was trying to vitiate the atmosphere of the country by spreading misinformation regarding the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC).
Speaking to ANI, Minister of State (MoS) for Prime Minister's Office (PMO), Dr Jitendra Singh said that everyone has a right to protest against the government but should not indulge in spreading misinformation.
"In a democracy, everyone is at liberty to do as he or she wants. The CAA has not altered the Section 6 of Citizenship Act, by virtue of which any foreigner, be it Italian or Pakistani can apply for Indian citizenship provided they meet the criteria," Singh said.
The senior BJP leader stated that there was a concerted effort by the opposition to malign the Modi government on the issue of NRC.
"Whenever NRC happens it has to go through due process laid down by the Constitution of India. I do not understand why so much fear-mongering is happening. I would pointedly say there is no correlation between CAA and NRC. First, we should dispel this impression. Do not try to link the two. First, separately discuss CAA. Do not change goalposts. NRC is not under discussion," he added.
The Union minister pointed out that a similar clarification was also made by Prime minister Narendra Modi in his Sunday address from Ramlila Maidan.
"PM's speech at Delhi's Ramlila ground should suffice and when he speaks, we have every reason to trust him. It is audacious that Congress isn't trusting PM's words," he said.
The minister alleged that the doubts and scepticism about CAA could be motivated by people with vested interests. "Muslims from outside have not been barred from getting the citizenship of India. That is because, under section 6 of the Citizenship act of 1955, there is a provision for any foreigner including foreign Muslims to apply for citizenship of India provided he or she fulfills the criteria laid down. That section remains unaltered, unchanged and undisturbed," he said.
"There is no linkage in citizenship criteria and citizenship privilege available to any community from any part of the world, as a result of CAA," he added.
Singh pointed out that it was the Congress that had originally come out in support of these oppressed minorities from these countries.
"In 1950, in Parliament debates in one of the interventions, the then Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru said, the concern about the minorities being not treated well in these countries is very much justified and that they should be given citizenship and if existing law does not permit this, the law should be amended," he said
"Similarly, the Communists too have been making a hue and cry about CAA while Bhupesh Gupt, a fine communist parliamentarian in post-independence India, had made an extensive speech and need to come out with remedial measures," he said.
He pointed out that the three countries identified in the CAA, which are bordering India, have not been able to deliver justice to their minorities.
"Hence the onus to protect minorities fell on bordering country and it is not that Muslims have been excluded or left out, I make it very clear since these three countries proclaim to having Islam as their state religion and therefore world community expects that they should take care of the wellbeing and safeguard Muslim community and India too desires this," he said.
The minister pointed out that the Modi government had gone the extra mile in the interest of minorities and scheduled castes and tribes, more than the previous governments.
"SC/ST law has been made more stringent, the Triple Talaq sought to undo the injustice meted out to Muslim daughters and sisters. The benefits of schemes rolled out by us which are pro-poor and made without consideration of vote bank or religious background have reached all," he said. (ANI)
Indian Muslims not affected by CAA, doubts about new law motivated by vested interests: Dr Jitendra Singh
Pragya Kaushika | Updated: Dec 23, 2019 16:27 IST
By Pragya Kaushika