CAA against structure of Constitution, stir will continue: Yashwant Sinha

Former finance minister Yashwant Sinha with Congress leader Shatrughan Sinha and SP president Akhilesh Yadav at the SP office in Lucknow on Monday. Vishal Srivastav

Former Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha on Monday said the new citizenship law was against the basic structure of the Constitution and that the ongoing protest against the law “was not going to end soon.”

Sinha was talking to the media at the Samajwadi Party state headquarters in Lucknow Sunday evening in presence of SP chief Akhilesh Yadav and Congress leader Shatrughan Sinha.

The former BJP leader attacked the Uttar Pradesh government and asked if taking away blankets from women protesters was “less than terrorism”.

A week ago, Lucknow police had taken away blankets and food from protesters at Ghanta Ghar in Lucknow. They had claimed that they had followed “due process”.

A ‘Gandhi Shanti Yatra’ led by Yashwant Sinha reached Lucknow on Sunday night before concluding it at Rajghat in Delhi on January 30. It started from the Gateway of India in Mumbai.

“Today under the current situation in the country, peace is very much important. People are scared and are thus starting movements against CAA and NRC. In such a condition, a responsible government should reach out and listen to them. It is strange that the government is not doing anything like that. Be it the Central government or BJP ruled states, they are working on a policy of suppression. Uttar Pradesh is the epicentre of government violence. In this very district, our home minister said they are not going back (on CAA) even by an inch. This cannot be a democratic statement. Using words like ‘danke ki chot par’ does not suit the home minister,” he said.

On the issue of implementation of CAA, he said, “I would say that it is against the basic structure of the Constitution. Secondly, there was no need of an amendment as under the old law, the government already had the power to grant citizenship to anyone. Third, as per the language used in the law I can say that the law cannot be implemented and probably that is what the government is planning too. They just want to mislead people.”

He further said, the situation is worse as the government is trying to differentiate the society on the basis of religion and we are going back to pre-1947 era.

“In 2014 Modiji was talking about Team India, in which he said that he will work to develop the country along with all the chief ministers. Where is that Team India spirit now? Today, Governors... behaving like nominees of the party,” said Yashwant.

Answering a question on Enforcement Directorate (ED) saying, after a preliminary inquiry, that Popular Front of India (PFI) funded the protests on December 19 and 20 and around Rs 120 crore was sent to PFI bank accounts, Akhilesh Yadav asked, “What were these agencies doing when these transactions were taking place?”

On the allegation by senior BJP leaders that the Opposition is financing the ongoing protest against the CAA and NRC, Akhilesh asked what kind of finance is needed for ‘samosa’ and blankets. Congress leader Shatrughan Sinha said he attended the press conference as he is a well-wisher of Yashwant Sinha and Akhilesh.

He also said he too believes that the CAA is anti-people and in some manners anti-national too.