BJP will pay heavy price for stubbornness on Citizenship Amendment Act, says Punjab CM Amarinder Singh

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.  

A day after former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan stated that the Centre would implement the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) at any cost, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) would have to “pay a heavy price for such stubbornness”.

“An elected government that refuses to heed the voice of its people or respond to their anger is bound to lose their confidence and collapse,” said the Punjab CM, adding that the BJP’s stance on the issue smacked of a “dangerously fascist approach that would lead to their [the BJP’s] eventual downfall”.

‘CAA discriminatory’

Capt. Amarinder said that as far as his government was concerned, there was no way it would allow the brazenly divisive Act to be implemented in Punjab. “You cannot force us to do so,” he said, even as he reiterated that neither he nor the Congress was against grant of citizenship to persecuted minorities in other countries, such as Sikhs in Pakistan, but they were completely opposed to the discrimination in the CAA against certain religious communities, including Muslims.

“Despite the nationwide public outrage over the controversial CAA, the BJP-led NDA (National Democratic Alliance) government at the Centre was refusing to acknowledge the unconstitutionality of the legislation,” said the Punjab Chief Minister, hitting out at Mr. Chauhan for his “shockingly inconsiderate remarks” on the issue.

Spontaneous outrage

In a statement, Capt. Amarinder said Mr. Chauhan had "absolutely no idea what he was talking about, nor had he bothered to study the Act", which has triggered massive public protests across the country. These protests, he said, were not “the brainchild of the Congress’ or any other party”, as Mr. Chauhan was claiming, but the result of a spontaneous outrage among Indians cutting across religious and party lines.

“Does Chauhan really believe that the lakhs of people, including youth and students, who had come out on the streets to brave bullets and lathis, were Congress supporters?” asked Captain Amarinder. “Can’t he or the other BJP leaders hear the voice of these protestors, majority of whom have no personal stake in the matter?” he added.

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Printable version | Sep 23, 2021 6:12:03 AM |

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