Taking former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shiv Raj Chauhan head on over the threat of the Centre implementing the CAA at any cost, Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) would have to pay a heavy price for such 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, warned the Punjab Chief Minister, adding that the BJP’s stance on the issue smacked of a dangerously fascist approach that would lead to their eventual downfall.
As far as his government was concerned, there was no way it would allow the brazenly divisive Act to be implemented in Punjab, Captain Amarinder asserted. "You cannot force us to do so,” he declared, even as he reiterated that neither he nor the Congress was against grant of citizenship of persecuted minorities in other countries, such as Sikhs in Pakistan, they were completely opposed to the discrimination in the CAA against certain religious communities, including Muslims.
Despite the nationwide public outrage over the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre was refusing to acknowledge the unconstitutionality of the legislation, said the Punjab Chief Minister, lashing out at Chauhan for his shockingly inconsiderate remarks on the issue.
It was obvious that Chauhan, like other BJP leaders, had no inkling of the implications or consequences of the CAA, nor did he apparently want to understand the same, said Captain Amarinder in a hard-hitting reaction to the comments made by Chauhan yesterday in Ludhiana.
Chauhan had absolutely no idea what he was talking about, nor had he bothered to study the Act, which has triggered massive public protests across the country, said the Punjab Chief Minister. These protests, he said, were not "the brainchild of the Congress” or any other party, as Chauhan was claiming, but the result of a spontaneous outrage among Indians cutting across religious and party lines.
"Does Chauhan really believe that the lakhs of people, including youth and students, who had come out on the streets to brave bullets and lathis, were Congress supporters?” asked Captain Amarinder. "Can’t he or the other BJP leaders hear the voice of these protestors, majority of whom have no personal stake in the matter?” he added.
The people of India could see what Chauhan had failed to see – that CAA was an out and out unconstitutional enactment which was aimed at destroying the secular ethos on which India’s Constitution and its ideology was based, Captain Amarinder quipped. 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 democratic polity, 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 charter, said the Punjab Chief Minister. India, he added, would not forgive the BJP and its allies for their attempt to demolish the bedrock of its future.