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India Belongs to Muslims as Much as it Belongs to Hindus, Says Law Minister Amid CAA Protests
The CAA applies to Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists, Jains and Parsis who have come from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh due to religious persecution, the Union law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
File photo of Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.
Jaipur: Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Friday said India belongs to Muslims as much as it belongs to Hindus, and asked people protesting against the amended citizenship law if they had ever seen the pain of those displaced.
He also said that the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) is not applicable on citizens of the country. Those who are citizens of India, be it Hindus or Muslims, can live here with honour, Prasad said while addressing a rally organised by the Rajasthan BJP in support of the law.
The CAA applies to Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists, Jains and Parsis who have come from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh due to religious persecution, the Union law minister said.
"The country belongs to Muslims as much as it belongs to Hindus. It feels good when Muslims progress and become president, vice president, chief justice. If they progress within the BJP, we respect them and will continue to respect them," Prasad said.
During the rally, he asked people protesting against the CAA, "if they ever seen the pain of those displaced, the way they and their daughters have been mistreated". "In such cases, isn't it the moral obligation of India to honour them," the law minister said.
Members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan till December 31, 2014 and facing religious persecution there will not be treated as illegal immigrants, and be given Indian citizenship, according to the legislation. Muslims have been excluded from the ambit.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government does not bow down to votes but serves the people, he said. "We do not do politics of vote. People in the BJP live for the country whereas some people only live to fetch votes. The basic difference needs to be understood," Prasad said.
"If we have given gas connections to 8 crore women to get rid of black smoke and provided electricity connection in every village, did we leave Muslim families behind. We are proud of Muslims who are doing good in Digital India. We do not do this work for votes because we have an obligation as the people have chosen us to run the government," he said.
On abrogation of Article 370, the minister said today in Kashmir does anyone have the courage to raise the flag of Pakistan. "It is because Kashmir is a part of India. What is the problem in it," he said. "Those who spoke about separation of Kashmir are in jail and people there are happy," the minister said.
The rally was attended by BJP leaders, including former chief minister Vasundhara Raje, Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, BJP state president Satish Poonia and Leader of Opposition Gulab Chand Kataria.
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