PM Modi, Amit Shah play different CAB tunes
NEWDELHI, 3rd Feb: With unrest brewing in the north eastern states over the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill issue, BJP chief Amit Shah on Sunday asserted that, the Centre will bring the legislation only if there is a “consensus” among all parties over it, indicating that the government may not push for the Bill in the ongoing budget session of Parliament.
“There are some issues on which there are differing opinions among different sections of people in the country. The Citizenship Bill has been taken up by BJP and the government after a lot of deliberation on it. It is very important and necessary for the country. But we are talking to all the parties including those in the north-east. Rajnath Singh has already spoken to some parties… we will go by the consensus that comes up,” Shah said.
Shah was replying to a TOI question on the party and its government’s decision to bring the legislation, on a day when it has launched a month-long “democratic” exercise to collect public opinion on issues to use as inputs for BJP’s 2019 poll manifesto. Rajnath Singh as head of BJP’s manifesto committee was seated beside Shah at Sunday’s party event.
The BJP chief, however, underlined his party's commitment to the bill, that seeks to grant citizenship to persecuted non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, saying such large number of refugees cannot be left to their fate. “We are firm on this,” he said.
Shah's comments came amid indications from BJP leaders that the government may not push the bill for passage in the ongoing budget session after facing strong resistance from different parties, including its own allies in the north eastern states. Meanwhile, addressing a rally in Vijaypur in Jammu region, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Sunday his government would stand with the children of "Maa Bharti" who have faced persecution in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
Making a strong pitch for the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill,Modi said "there are many children of Maa Bharti who have faced persecution in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh...We will stand with those who were part of India at one time, but got separated from us" due to the Partition in 1947.
Targeting the Congress for its opposition to the piece of legislation, he said that party, when it was in power, did not pay "attention of the pain of our brothers and sisters".
"But we have brought the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill with a commitment... If they are discriminated on the basis of faith, the country will stand up with them," the prime minister said.
He also referred to the Kartarpur Corridor issue to target the Congress.
"The previous governments had the tendency to ignore the necessities and sentiments of the country. You are well aware of that. Take Kartarpur corridor issue for instance. Had they paid attention, then the land of Guru Nanak Dev would have been a part of India," Modi said, referring to the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur in Pakistan where Sikhism founder Guru Nanak had settled.
Modi addressed public meetings in Leh and Vijaypur in Jammu, after inaugurating several development projects in Jammu and Kashmir.
He said the BJP-led government at the Centre was dedicated to the causes of Kashmiri Pandits, who had to abandon their homes in Kashmir Valley in the wake of spread of terrorism.
"They had to leave their homeland, the pain that they had to undergo, I have never said this but their pain is within me too," Modi said.