BJP will pay heavy price for its stubbornness on CAA: Amarinder Singh

Chandigarh, Jan 8 (PTI) Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday slammed former Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Chouhan for asserting that the Centre will implement the amended citizenship law at any cost and said the BJP will have to pay a 'heavy price for its stubbornness'.

'An elected government which refuses to heed the voice of its people or respond to their anger is bound to lose their confidence and collapse,' the CM said reacting to BJP leaders statement made in Ludhiana on Tuesday.

He said the BJP's stance on the issue smacked of a 'dangerously fascist approach' that would lead to their eventual downfall.

'The BJP will have to pay a heavy price for stubbornness on the CAA,' he said in a statement here.

On his government's stance on the contentious law, the CM said they can't be forced to implement the 'brazenly divisive Act' in Punjab.

The Punjab CM reiterated that neither he nor the Congress was against the granting of citizenship to persecuted minorities but they were completely opposed to the discrimination in the CAA against Muslims.

Amarinder Singh said despite a nationwide outrage against the legislation, the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre was refusing to acknowledge the unconstitutionality of the CAA.

He lashed out at the former Madhya Pradesh chief minister, saying that Chouhan, like other BJP leaders, had no inkling of the implications or consequences of the CAA. He rejected Chouhan's claim that the protests against the legislation were the brainchild of the Congress.

The protests against the legislation were the result of a spontaneous outrage among Indians cutting across religious and party lines, the CM stressed.

'Does Chouhan really believe that lakhs of people, including students, who had come out on the streets to brave bullets and lathis, were Congress supporters,' asked Amarinder Singh.

'Can't he or the other BJP leaders hear the voice of these protesters, a majority of whom have no personal stake in the matter,' he added.

The Punjab CM said the people of India could see what Chouhan had failed to see - that the CAA was an out and out unconstitutional enactment, which was 'aimed at destroying the secular ethos on which India's Constitution and ideology was based'.

It was obvious, he said, that the CAA had become an ego issue for the ruling BJP and its leadership, which had closed its eyes to the damage it would cause to the Indian democracy, especially in conjunction with the National Register of Citizens (NRC).

The people of India were no fools and could see how the CAA was designed to destroy the nation's secular character, he said.

Chouhan on Tuesday had charged Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi with 'spreading lies and misinformation' about the CAA in the country.

He had wondered why some chief ministers, particularly Amarinder Singh, who were bound by an oath to implement all laws of the country in their states, were opposing this law. PTI VSD RDK RDK