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SP promises pension for anti citizenship law protesters

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Lucknow, Jan 04: The Samajwadi Party (SP) on Friday promised pension for those involved in protests against the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) if voted to power, drawing a sharp reaction from the ruling BJP, which said it was in the "DNA of that party to honour rioters and anti-social elements".

Ram Govind Chaudhary, leader of Opposition in the UP Legislative Assembly, said the SP would also give compensation to the kin of those jailed or killed during anti-CAA protests in the state.

Ram Govind Chaudhary

"If our party comes to power at the Centre and in UP, they (protesters) will be given pension as they have struggled to save the Constitution and the democracy," he said in response to a question.

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Chaudhary said his party protects all those who seek refuge.

"Jo humari sharan mein aa gaye, woh humari sharan mein hain. Hum sabki raksha karney wale log hain (those who have sought protection from us are with us. We protect everyone)," he told reporters in Lucknow.

Referring to remarks made by state BJP president Swatantra Dev Singh that SP chief Akhilesh Yadav should stay in Pakistan for a month to understand the atrocities being inflicted on Hindus there, Chaudhary said the Narendra Modi-led Union government is diverting people's attention from real issues. Anyone raising a question is being asked to go to Pakistan, he alleged.

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    West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday had also criticised Modi for frequently comparing India with Pakistan.

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    UP Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma later criticised the SP, saying, "It is in the DNA of that party to honour rioters and anti-socials. They had also tried to withdraw cases against terrorists in the past and the court had to intervene. It is unfortunate that SP leaders are speaking about giving citizenship rights to Bangladeshis and Rohingyas."

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