Those opposing CAA are anti-Dalit: Amit Shah

Amit Shah with Karnataka CM B S Yediyurappa at an event organised by Vedanta Bharati at Palace Grounds in Bengaluru. PTI

Those opposing the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 are anti-Dalit since the majority of refugees who fled Pakistan during Partition were Dalits, Union Home Minister and BJP president Amit Shah said at a rally in favour of the new citizenship law in Hubbali on Saturday.

Those opposing the CAA were also against Mahatma Gandhi’s advice to give citizenship to those who did not want to live in East or West Pakistan, said the BJP leader. Shah also accused Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and his party of misleading Muslims into believing the CAA is anti-Muslim.

“Lakhs of people came to India (during Partition). They began living in Bengal. Nearly 70 per cent of those who came are Dalit (Scheduled Caste) brothers and sisters. Those who oppose CAA, I want to ask them what they gain by opposing Dalits who come to India from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. Those who oppose CAA are anti-Dalit. Please understand this,’’ the BJP national president said. “When the country goes to polls, Dalit society will call to account those who have attacked Dalits and Lord Buddha. Who are you supporting?” he said.

Shah said that the protesters were not listening to the words of Mahatma Gandhi. “It is the duty of the Indian government to give them citizenship, jobs and honour,” Shah said quoting Gandhi. “Now, tell me, will you not listen to Mahatma Gandhi too? If you do not listen to Mahatma Gandhi, then who will you listen to,’’ the Home Minister said.

Congress leaders promised refuge for people fleeing Pakistan but the party has not done anything to fulfil those promises despite being in power for the last 55 of 70 years, and the Narendra Modi government is now fulfilling it, Shah said.

Shah said the CAA will not snatch the citizenship of Muslims in the country and the minority community has been misled by the Congress, leading to protests and violence.

Shah did not make a single reference to the NRC or NPR in his speech.