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48 BJP minority cell workers in Bhopal quit over CAA, NRC


They were misled by community leaders, communists: BJP

“Have you ever seen a government passing a law in Parliament, and then going from door to door seeking support for it?” said Adil Khan, who quit the BJP as its Bhopal district minority cell vice-president on Saturday over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the proposed nationwide National Register of Citizens. “This shows the party is aware it has committed a wrong,” he added.

As many as 48 members of the cell in Bhopal district, including the State media in-charge, spokesperson and district ministers, quit the party, stating senior leadership refused to heed complaints of offensive remarks made by some leaders against a community and kept them away from its door-to-door campaign on the contentious law.

“The Act and the NRC is a lethal combination. Only we know how we went to each Muslim home during elections to canvass for votes. Yet we have to take a stand now,” said Mr. Khan. “People don’t have enough to eat, how can you expect them to produce documents to prove citizenship?”

In a letter addressed to the State minority cell chief, the former members wrote, “The party once followed principles of Syama Prasad Mookerjee and Atal Bihari Vajpayee, didn’t indulge in discrimination and took everyone along, including minorities. But in the past few years, it has been hijacked by two-three big names and started working against a particular community... The spirit of the Constitution is being killed now.”

‘No democracy in party’

Stating there was no democracy left in the party, its former cell media chief Javed Baig said, “I thought you could keep your view points and discuss them in the party. We thought they’ll call us to resolve our issues. But even the State party president didn’t respond.”

Having spent 40 years in the party, Abdul Qureshi, 65, said the party’s policy of creating a Hindu rashtra had come out in the open. “Back then, at least they used to hear us out. Now, the party has lost its ideology.”

The BJP rejected the claims of the former members of its minority cell and said they had been misled. “Community leaders and communists who work against the interest of the country have misled our workers, who don’t understand the issue properly,” Leader of the Opposition and BJP leader Gopal Bhargava told The Hindu.

Denying the allegation that minority leaders were not being involved in awareness drives, he said, “Several of them [minority leaders] were with me during the [CAA awareness] drive in Agar Malwa district. They were happy with the law and said since the Prime Minister had given ₹2.5 lakh per house under the [Pradhan Mantri] Awas Yojana, how could they be thrown out [of the country]?”

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2020 6:31:49 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/48-bjp-minority-cell-workers-in-bhopal-quit-over-caa-nrc/article30546723.ece

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