States

Will not let Gandhi be killed for a second time: Yashwant Sinha

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Hitting out at the Narendra Modi government at the Centre, former Union finance minister Yashwant Sinha on Thursday dubbed the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) as “black Acts” that needed to be rolled back immediately.

“The Centre must reconsider its proposed implementation of the abominable CAA and the NRC. It is with this intention that we have embarked upon the Gandhi Shanti Yatra,” said Mr. Sinha, a former stalwart in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) who quit the party in 2018.

“The object behind this 3,000-km yatra is to safeguard the Constitution and preserve the country’s unity...we will not let Gandhiji be assassinated for a second time,” the 82-year-old Mr. Sinha, who has been consistently vocal in his opposition to Prime Minister Modi’s policies and his style of politics, said.

Mr. Sinha was speaking in Pune as his rally reached the city on Thursday evening after being flagged off in Mumbai. Also present were former chief minister and Congressman Prithviraj Chavan, another former BJP dissident-turned-Congressman Shatrughan Sinha, and Congress leader Ashish Deshmukh.

Calling the CAA a socially divisive piece of legislation, he demanded that the Act be revoked. “This government is working against the ideals and thoughts of Mahatma Gandhi…The Prime Minister, along with the Union Home Minister [Amit Shah], are fostering a climate of fear with their talks of implementing the NRC…the Home Minister’s statements on removing infiltrators have a communal and religious angle to them,” Mr. Sinha alleged.

Condemning the assaults on students in the country’s eminent educational establishments, including Jamia Milia Islamia and Jawaharlal Nehru University, he said these were clear instances of State-sanctioned violence.

Accusing the Centre of surreptitiously attempting to do away with Mahatma Gandhi’s ideology, Mr. Chavan said the country would have to pay a heavy cost if it did not stand up to the Centre’s noxious policies and safeguard the Constitution.

Calling upon Prime Minister Modi to resign, Mr. Shatrughan Sinha said the unrest among students in the country had created a clime akin to that of Jayprakash Narayan’s mass movement of 1974. “The PM has completely lost the trust of the country’s citizens by his doublespeak. It is time he voluntarily quit his post,” he said.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2020 6:13:36 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/states/will-not-let-gandhi-be-killed-for-a-second-time-yashwant-sinha/article30528254.ece

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