UP CM Yogi Adityanath with other BJP leaders at a rally in Gaya. (Express photo by Rakesh Praveer)
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said on Tuesday that the Muslim population in India increased manifold since Partition because they were given special rights and facilities, unlike in Pakistan.
He also said that the protests against the new citizenship law were a conspiracy aided by a “crooked” Opposition, and that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah should be feted and not attacked for bringing the CAA.
Addressing a rally in Gaya organised by the BJP in support of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, Adityanath said, “The Muslim population in India has increased manifold since 1947, it has gone up by seven to eight times. No one has any objection. If they, as citizens of the country, work for development, they are welcome. Their population has increased because they have been given special rights and facilities. All possible steps were taken to ensure their growth. But what happened in Pakistan?”
He asked why the Hindu population in Pakistan had decreased since 1947 and there was no clue as to where they had gone.
The CM said that those opposing the CAA were committing the sin of working against national interests. He pointed out that Bihar Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi and state BJP chief Sanjay Jaiswal have articulated how the CAA is about granting citizenship to persecuted refugees and not about taking it away from anybody. “For taking such a step, PM Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah deserve acclaim. Instead they are being attacked,” he said.
“Protests are taking place across the country and a crooked Opposition is adding fuel to the fire. But the people of the country need to understand that it is a conspiracy hatched from afar. The strings are being pulled by those who are resentful of ‘Ek Bharat Shreshth Bharat’ (united India, grand India), which is becoming a reality under Modi,” he claimed.
Emphasising that the Modi government did not discriminate against people on the basis of religion, he said that many people had benefited from welfare schemes like Ujjwala Yojana and Ayushman Bharat. “Was anybody asked, before being included as a beneficiary, about his or her religion or caste?” he said.
“This new India does not cower, like the Congress did, before Pakistan’s atomic power. The neighbouring country is today fearful that it may end up losing even PoK after Article 370, which Jawaharlal Nehru wrongly introduced, was abrogated,” the UP CM said to loud applause.
Invoking B R Ambedkar, he said, “The revolutionary-turned-freedom fighter Sri Aurobindo had said that the biggest virtue in current times is to work for national interest and the biggest sin is to work against it. The Opposition is committing the sin. To understand this you should take the contrasting examples of Ambedkar and Jogendra Nath Mandal. Ambedkar remained loyal to his country while Mandal fell for Jinnah’s designs, helped the creation of Pakistan and became a minister in that country.”
He added, “While Ambedkar is a revered figure, Mandal felt so stifled in Pakistan that within a decade he resigned and came to Kolkata where he spent his last years living a life of anonymity. Let it be known to all, whoever works against national interests shall be condemned to a similar fate.”
Referring to anti-CAA posters put up by the Congress-RJD on the way to the venue, he said, “A party that had strangled the Constitution by imposing Emergency has the audacity to do so.”
“The Congress played scare-monger on the Ram temple issue, claiming blood would be spilled on the streets if the matter was taken to its logical conclusion. Now it has been settled once and for all, and on the auspicious occasion of Makar Sankranti I declare that Ayodhya in my state will soon be ready with a Ram Mandir,” he said.