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'Some Parties Speaking Same Language as Pakistan': PM Modi Slams Oppn on 'Historic' Citizenship Bill

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said some political parties were speaking the same language as Pakistan amid a heated debate over the Citizenship Amendment Bill.


Updated:December 11, 2019, 11:03 PM IST
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'Some Parties Speaking Same Language as Pakistan': PM Modi Slams Oppn on 'Historic' Citizenship Bill
File image of PM Modi. (Image: PTI)

New Delhi: Amid a heated debate over the contentious Citizenship Amendment Bill, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said some political parties were speaking the same language as Pakistan, “including the full stop and comma”.

Addressing the BJP parliamentary party meet ahead of the debate in Rajya Sabha over the legislation, PM Modi asked the MPs to expose the opposition parties on the issue. He likened the bill to the government's decision to nullify Article 370 and said it will provide permanent relief to minorities of neighbouring countries who arrived in India fleeing religious persecution.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi, quoting Modi, said: “CAB will be a law written in golden letters” and they were confident of passing it with a simple majority. “Persecuted minorities will not only get citizenship but also have permanent residency.”

The bill seeks to provide Indian citizenship to non-Muslim refugees coming from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan after facing religious persecution there. It was passed in the Lok Sabha on Monday despite concerns raised by the Opposition and widespread protests in the Northeast.

The prime minister also asked the BJP leaders to spread awareness about the Union government's big achievements during "Good Governance Day" that the ruling dispensation observes on former prime minister Atal Bihar Vajpayee's birth anniversary on December 25.

BJP MPs were also advised to hold meetings with beneficiaries of the citizenship bill.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had described the Bill as discriminatory and regressive.

Cornering the government, opposition parties have called the legislation discriminatory and in violation of the principles of equality and secularism.

On Wednesday, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said the bill was an attempt to “ethnically cleanse the Northeast”. "The CAB is an attempt by Modi-Shah Govt to ethnically cleanse the North East. It is a criminal attack on the North East, their way of life and the idea of India. I stand in solidarity with the people of the North East and am at their service.”

Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad too said the BJP was just interested in keeping the country divided on religious lines. “There are about 13 like-minded parties in the Rajya Sabha... I have met them and they will all vote against CAB Bill.

“The government does not want to address concerns around the economy and issue of price rise. BJP is only interested in keeping the country divided on the lines of religion. Abrogation of Article 370 and Triple Talaq Bill are other examples. This just proves that the BJP has no respect for the Constitution,” Azad said.

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