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Published On: Fri, Jan 31st, 2020

No reason to feel defensive, back CAA aggressively in Parliament: Modi

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842446-modi-leadNEW DELHI : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday asserted that his government has no reason to feel defensive about the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and asked the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) leaders to back the legislation strongly in Parliament.
According to sources, the PM asked the NDA leaders to aggressively take on the Opposition’s charge that the amended citizenship law discriminated against Muslims and said that minorities are as much “ours as other citizens are”.
“Some people are trying to mislead the nation on the Citizenship Amendment Act. Muslims are a part of our nation, and they have equal rights and duties as others,” the Prime Minister said.

He asked leaders of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) to aggressively defend the Citizenship Amendment Act in Parliament, saying that there is no reason to feel defensive about it.The meeting of the NDA leaders was called to chalk out a strategy to counter the Opposition during the Budget Session of Parliament, which began on Friday
‘The government has done nothing wrong as far as the amended Citizenship Act is concerned and has no reason to feel defensive about,” the PM reportedly said during the meeting of the NDA allies. The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) leaders also hailed the PM for the Bodo Accord and settlement of Bru tribe members in Tripura.
It may be noted that the Opposition leaders have said they will raise the issue of nationwide protests against the CAA in the session, as they accused the Modi government of arrogance and making no effort to reach out to protestors.
NDA parliamentarians later passed a resolution backing PM Modi not only on the controversial law but also initiatives such as the the Bodo peace accord, the Kartarpur Corridor and the scrapping of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status. The resolution claimed that the Prime Minister had “fulfilled the dreams of Mahatma Gandhi” by bringing the CAA.
Protests against the controversial law continue unabated across the country despite repeated assurances by the centre that it is not intended to target any community. The government has also come under pressure from international voices — including the United States, European Union and United Nations — to scrap the Act, which they claim is “discriminatory”.
Earlier this month, the country slipped 10 places to the 51st position in the Democracy Index over concerns related to the scrapping of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and the amended citizenship bill.
The government, however, is showing no signs of backing down on the CAA. “Let me say this here and now that the law will not be withdrawn no matter who protests… We are not scared of opposition. We were born in it,” Union Home Minister Amit Shah said at a public rally in Lucknow last week.
Earlier today, President Ram Nath Kovind sparked off an uproar in Parliament by terming the Citizenship Amendment Act as a fulfilment of Mahatma Gandhi’s wishes. “The Father of our Nation — Mahatma Gandhiji — had said after partition that Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, and other religious minorities in Pakistan and Bangladesh (East Pakistan) should be granted citizenship of India if they come seeking refuge.
I am happy that both houses of Parliament passed the Citizenship Amendment Act to ensure Bapu’s wishes come true,” he said, evoking applause from the treasury benches but cries of “shame” from the opposition.


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