No going back on Citizenship Act implementation: Amit Shah
Mumbai, Dec 17: Amid raging protests over the amended Citizenship Act, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday asserted there was no question of going back on its implementation and accused the opposition of engaging in a "false" campaign over the legislation.
Speaking at India Economic Conclave, Shah said there was nothing against minorities in the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), which was passed by Parliament last week and has received Presidential assent.
"There is no going back on Citizenship Act, government is firm like rock on its implementation," said Shah amid demand by opposition parties for withdrawal of what they called an "unconstitutional and divisive" law.
In New New Delhi, leaders of opposition parties knocked on the doors of President Ram Nath Kovind urging him to intervene on the issue of violence in central universities and ask the Modi government to withdraw the "unconstitutional and divisive" citizenship amendment law.
Shah expressed confidence about the amended Citizenship Act standing legal scrutiny. The home minister said no action is being taken against students opposing the CAA.
However, action is being taken only against those engaging in vandalism and arson during protests, he said. Shah said there was nothing "anti-minority" in the legislation, which provides Indian citizenship to persecuted non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
Hitting at the opposition, he said it is engaged in "false" campaign over the new Citizenship Act. Taking potshots at Rahul Gandhi over his remarks on V D Savarkar, Shah said the Congress leader can not be like the legendary freedom fighter.
Addressing the Congress' mega 'Bharat Bachao Rally' in Delhi on Saturday, Rahul Gandhi had rejected the BJP's demand for an apology over his "rape in India" barb, and added that his name was Rahul Gandhi, not "Rahul Savarkar", and he will never apologise for speaking the truth.
"Rahul Gandhi cannot be Veer Savarkar; it takes a lot of sacrifice, dedication to be Savarkar," said the home minister. Shah, who is also BJP president, exuded confidence about his party winning the next year's Delhi Assembly polls.
He said the BJP will secure complete majority in the 70-member Assembly in the national capital, currently ruled by the Aam Aadmi Party. Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who led the opposition delegation, alleged the Modi government was "shutting down" people's voices and bringing legislations which are not acceptable to them.
Large parts of the country, especially West Bengal and the North-east, have erupted in protest against the CAA. CAA's critics say the legislation is discriminatory in nature and goes against the tenets of the Constitution.
Students have been at the forefront of the protests. The Delhi-based Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) university had turned into a battlefield on Sunday as police entered the campus and also used force following protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act, which led to violence and arson.
On Monday, students in several parts of the country took to the streets to express solidarity with their JMI counterparts and denounce the new citizenship act.