Ready to change CAA if it affects even one out of 130 crore citizens: Kishan Reddy

Union Minister of State for Home G. Kishan Reddy in Hyderabad on Thursday, January 9, 2020.

Union Minister of State for Home G. Kishan Reddy in Hyderabad on Thursday, January 9, 2020.   | Photo Credit: K.V.S. Giri

The Government is ready to change the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) if “even one citizen of the 130 crore is adversely affected by it,” asserted Union Minister of State for Home G. Kishan Reddy on Thursday. “Our Government has brought forth the CAA with full responsibility as a special drive to provide citizen status to refugees from the neighbourhood who had faced religious persecution,” he explained.

Stating that the Government had not expected such a “vicious false propaganda against the CAA”, the Minister said Muslim citizens have no ground to fear and assured that even in the census operations about to commence for the National Population Register (NPR), no document need to be shown and urged them not to believe “wrong stories being circulated in the social media.”


No Cabinet discussion on NRC

Participating in the ‘Meet the Press’ programme organised by the Telangana Union of Working Journalists (TUWJ) here, Mr. Reddy said although the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) did mention about the National Register of Citizens (NRC), the Government has not taken it up and there has been no discussion in the Union Cabinet. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi has the final word on NRC, it does not matter what anyone else has said,” he averred.

The Minister stated that the Government is still trying to frame rules and regulations for the CAA, and as of now it does not have any precise figure on the number of refugees. “The Government has taken note of apprehensions in some States about the CAA, including those in the Northeast and its intent is not to bulldoze them into accepting it,” Mr. Reddy allayed.

“We will hold discussions with such States and seek to remove misconceptions because this has been a long standing assurance of the Indian Government from the time of the first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to accept minorities in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, who faced discrimination,” he claimed.

Muslims from these nations have, in any case, been obtaining citizenship through the process of “naturalisation”, and they could continue to do so. Mr. Reddy urged those opposing the Census operations and NPR to understand that it is constitutionally mandated and continuing from the British times to understand the profile of citizens to take up various welfare and development schemes.

“It is not fair or right to say that Census enumerators will not be allowed to collect details. There is no need to furnish any birth certificates. This is my assurance as Union Minister. But ultimately people of the country would decide who is right,” he affirmed.

Detention centres nothing to do with CAA

Deploring the ‘false’ narrative on ‘detention centres’, Mr. Reddy said these were established by Congress Governments in Assam and Karnataka. “But these were for visa/passport expired foreigners only, and nothing to do with CAA,” he claimed.

Mr. Reddy also criticised the TRS Government for adhering to the agenda of allies like Majlis for permitting anti-CAA protests only. “The TS Government has not sent a single beneficiary’s name for the Centre to release funds for housing programme, despite reminders,” he claimed. IJU national president K. Srinivas Reddy moderated, while TUWJ working president N. Shekar, general secretary Virasat Ali and others were present.

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Printable version | Sep 19, 2020 5:57:05 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/ready-to-change-caa-if-it-affects-even-one-out-of-13o-cr-citizens-kishan-reddy/article30522674.ece

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