Centre won’t be cowed by protests against CAA: Ram Madhav

‘Our assessment about Opposition parties was wrong’

Stating that the Union government will not be cowed by protests and it will go ahead with implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Act, Bharatiya Janata Party general secretary Ram Madhav said here on Sunday that the government had failed in properly assessing the resentment from political parties to the Act.

Delivering a talk on CAA organised by the Citizen’s Council’s Mangaluru Chapter, Mr. Madhav said the Act had been brought to protect the interests of India and Indians. It was not against any community. Muslims should not get into victimisation by wrong propaganda. “We shall go forward and we shall not be cowed (by protests),” he said.

Agreeing that the BJP should have taken up a propaganda exercise and cleared misconceptions before passing the Bill, Mr. Madhav said: “We never realised that responsible leaders, those in high positions, would indulge in such kinds of lies and bigotry. These responsible leaders handled such things when they were in power. When we took steps, they stooped to such a level. Probably, our assessment about the country was not wrong, but assessment about our Opposition parties was wrong,” he said.

The CAA, he said, was a one-time offer of citizenship to persecuted minorities from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh, who have taken refugee in India on or before December 31, 2014. “It’s an offer made to persecuted minorities to apply for Indian citizenship by December 31, 2020.

It is for them to accept it or not,” he said and added that the Act does not bar others communities who are persecuted in those countries from getting Indian citizenship.

Similar to the CAA, Mr. Madhav said the the Liaquat Ali Khan-Jawarlal Nehru pact and the Indira-Mujibur Rahman pacts had cut-off dates for allowing persecuted minorities to take shelter in India. The Opposition has forgotten this facet of Indian history and were indulging in fearmongering for political gains, he said.

Criticising the Opposition for linking CAA with National Register of Citizens, he said such misconceptions were being spread when the Centre was yet to take up the NRC exercise. The BJP was constantly engaging with Muslim leaders and clearing misconceptions, he said.

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Printable version | Feb 21, 2020 1:26:28 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/centre-wont-be-cowed-by-protests-against-caa/article30427733.ece

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