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‘Was Nehru Communal?' Modi quotes first PM to defend citizenship law

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New Delhi, Feb 06: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday defended the newly amended Citizenship law, making references to Jawaharlal Nehru, partition, the 1975 Emergency and the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

"For someone's aspiration to become the Prime Minister of India, a line was drawn on the map and India was divided into two. After the partition, the way how Hindus, Sikhs and other minorities were persecuted is unimaginable," PM Modi said replying to a debate on Motion of Thanks to the President's Address in Lok Sabha.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi

He said in 1950 when the Nehru-Liaquat Ali pact was signed, it said that minorities won't be discriminated against in Pakistan. "A big, secular person like Nehru, a big visionary; and everything to you, why did he not use all citizens and not minorities? There must have been some reason," he added.

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The PM then asked, "All these instances, was Nehru communal? I want to know? Did he discriminate between Hindus and Muslims? Did he want a Hindu nation."

PM Modi said, much has been said about the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) by those who "love getting photographed with the group of people who want 'Tukde Tukde' of India."

Save constitution cry

Attacking the Congress for Save Constitution cry, PM Modi reminded the Congress of Emergency.

"There has been talk of 'save constitution'. I agree Congress should say this 100 times in a day. Maybe they will realize their past mistakes. Did you forget this slogan during the emergency? When state Governments were dismissed? When cabinet resolutions were torn?"

Modi said a person who was associated with the 1984 anti-Sikh riots was made as chief minister.

"Does a party that keeps talking about secularism not remember 1984 and the anti-Sikh violence. It was shameful. In addition, they did not make efforts to punish the guilty," he said.

On Kashmir issue

He also hit out at former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti and National Conference leaders Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah over their remarks on the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir.

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"Omar Abdullah had said removing Article 370 would bring an earthquake that will separate Kashmir from India. Farooq Abdullah said if Article 370 is removed, there will be no one in the Valley to unfurl the Indian flag. Can any person devoted to the Indian Constitution ever accept this?" Modi said.

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"Those who say such words, they do not trust the people of Kashmir. We trusted them, and now the region is developing at a fast pace," he added.

"There were statements made by former chief ministers of Jammu and Kashmir that were unacceptable. These are leaders who don't trust Kashmiri people that is why they used such language, but we trusted Kashmiris and abrogated Article 370," the Prime Minister said.

Modi also referred to the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits, saying, "Kashmir's identity was buried on Jan 19, 1990."

"Who made Kashmir only about land grabbing? Who made Kashmir's identity only about bombs and guns? Can anyone forget that dark night of January? In reality, Kashmiri identity is closely linked with harmony," he said.

On article 370, Triple Talaq and Ram Janmabhoomi

"Had we continued with the same path of yours, Article 370 would not have been abrogated, Triple Talaq would not have gone," he told the opposition.

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"The people of India have not only changed the Sarkar (government). They want the 'Sarokar' (conduct) to be changed as well. If we had worked according to the old ways and thought processes: Article 370 would never have been history. Muslim women would have kept suffering due to Triple Talaq," he added.

"If we worked as per the old ways, Ram Janmabhoomi issue would have remained unsolved. Kartarpur Sahib corridor would not be a reality. There would be no India-Bangladesh land agreement," he said.

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