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'Disgraced Swamiji's Abode': Oppn Slams PM Modi for Using Belur Math's Platform to Raise CAA, NRC

Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Belur Math on Swami Vivekananda’s birth anniversary on Sunday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Belur Math on Swami Vivekananda’s birth anniversary on Sunday.

Minister Partha Chatterjee said it is unfortunate that the PM, instead of talking about Swami Vivekananda on his birth anniversary, chose to speak about the NRC and CAA from Belur Math, considered one of the most divine places in Bengal.

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Sujit Nath

Kolkata: Opposition leaders in the state hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for raising of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) issue at the Ramakrishna Mission in Belur Math and termed it an unfortunate move.

The prime minister, during his address from the Ramakrishna Mission headquarters, said the new law would not take away anybody’s citizenship and a section of the youth was being misguided about it by opposition leaders.

He said, “The CAA and NRC (National Register of Citizens) are not about snatching citizenship, but giving the same to non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan fleeing religious persecution there. I wonder why some political leaders are not trying to understand the simple issue. They must be doing this deliberately.”

“It is unfortunate that some people are spreading lies over the issue. I would like to ask you... shouldn’t we provide citizenship to those who are facing religious atrocities in Pakistan due to their religion. Raise your hand to support my decision. I would like to request today’s youth to spread this message that they (refugee) need to be taken care of,” he further said.

Massive protests have erupted across the nation against the amended Citizenship Act and the proposed implementation of the NRC. Critics have termed the legislation anti-constitutional and unsecular as it seeks to grant citizenship on the basis of religion.

State Minister and Trinamool Congress secretary general Partha Chatterjee said, “It is unfortunate that our Prime Minister, instead of talking about Swami Vivekananda on his birth anniversary, chose to speak about the NRC and CAA from Belur Math, considered one of the most divine places in Bengal. With his act, Modi has not only hurt the sentiments of people in Bengal, but also disgraced and disrespected the sanctity of the place.”

Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said, “It is extremely unfortunate that one of the most divine and apolitical places that believes in liberty, equality and fraternity was used for political interests by the PM. He should have avoided his political speeches at Swamiji's abode.”

CPI(M)’s Md Salim said, “I would like to ask with folded hands why was PM Modi allowed to use Belur Math for his political message. He was on an official tour, but he made a political statement.”

“They (BJP leaders) are misleading the people in the name of citizenship. Who are they planning to give citizenship? Are they planning to give it to those who are already Indians? What is going on?” he added.

Meanwhile, the math distanced itself from Modi’s remarks contending that it was a strictly apolitical body which did not respond to "ephemeral" calls.

Swami Suvirananda, the Ramakrishna Math and Mission general secretary, said, “He is the Prime Minister of India and he expressed his desire to spent the night at Belur Math. He was our guest and as a host, I think we should not comment anything on this issue. The organisation will not comment on the prime minister's speech on CAA. We are a strictly apolitical body. We have come here after leaving our homes to answer eternal calls. We do not respond to ephemeral calls.”


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