BJP president Jagat Prakash Nadda on Thursday (January 23) dared Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to speak 10 lines on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, which has been facing widespread protests from opposition camps and the civil society for being ‘divisive’ in nature.
Speaking at a public meeting in Agra three days after taking over the reins of the party from Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Nadda said the Congress leadership was suffering from “mental bankruptcy” and that it has lost all hopes.
“The Congress has lost all hopes. Its leadership is suffering from manasik diwaliyapan (mental bankruptcy). The statements issued by the party in the last eight months reflect that they are intended to help Pakistan,” he said.
Daring Gandhi to “speak even ten lines” on the CAA, Nadda also accused the Congress of provoking Muslims. “If he (Rahul) speaks even ten lines on CAA, then we will acknowledge him,” he said.
The BJP chief said there was no need to be afraid of the CAA as it was the law of the people and accused the Congress of conspiring to fan riots in the state and the country. “Congress leaders have supported those who spread violence. The party is upset and their leaders have given statements in the language of Pakistan,” he said.
Seeking to allay “apprehensions created by the Congress” that minority community members will lose their citizenship under the new law, the BJP chief said, “The CAA is to give citizenship and not to snatch it. Those who do not know anything about the law are misguiding the people.”
The 59-year-old leader from Himachal Pradesh was elected as BJP’s 11th president on January 20 after he emerged as the only nominee in the fray.
In an apparent reference to the leaders of the BSP and the SP, he said, “These days Dalit leaders are opposing the CAA. These Dalit leaders and the Congress hardly know anything about the CAA and are only spreading canards to mislead people.”
Nadda said the political innings of the two parties was over and they have understood that times have changed and the country is marching rapidly under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in his address said that in a democracy, everyone has the right to speak in a democratic way but those who cause chaos should not be under any kind of illusion as the government has a solution to every problem.
“The government will recover the losses from those who damaged public property,” he said. The chief minister said protesters who destroyed public property on the signal of PFI and SIMI have now realised that their assets will be confiscated.
“Now, these people are trying to ruin the atmosphere by using their women and children as a shield,” he said, adding that previous governments used to plead with miscreants.
Stressing that opposition parties have created their vote banks by focussing on conflicts between communities, Adityanath said ever since Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power, all such issues have been resolved.
Therefore, the opposition parties “are trying to spread confusion”, he said. “The opposition is upset with the abrogation of Article 370. They are speaking the language of Pakistan,” the chief minister added.
“The CAA is connected with India’s heritage. It has been the tradition of India to protect the people who come here for shelter. The CAA is a law for granting citizenship not for taking citizenship away. The opposition must understand its reality,” he said
(With inputs from agencies)