Union home minister Amit Shah’s call for a debate over the citizenship act with opposition leaders, including West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, has invited a reverse barb from leaders of the state’s ruling Trinamool Congress as well as the Congress and Left.
The senior minister had thrown the challenge to Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, Congress’ Rahul Gandhi and Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav earlier in the day while addressing a rally as part of the government outreach on the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
Amit Shah also said CAA will not be taken back as he accused the opposition parties of spreading lies and misinformation about the law, which the government says will help religious minorities fleeing persecution from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan get citizenship.
The legislation has triggered country-wide protests and forced the BJP to launch an awareness campaign against an opposition onslaught, especially from Mamata Banerjee.
The West Bengal chief minister has repeatedly said she will not allow CAA to be implemented in the state and has led protests against the amended act.
She has also said a resolution against CAA would be passed in the state assembly within the next three or four days to demand its withdrawal.
As the debate challenge came in, West Bengal’s minister of state for parliamentary affairs, Tapas Roy, said Amit Shah Shah should acquaint himself with the subject before daring others.
“Shah should first understand the subject himself. He has to understand what the Constitution says. Every day BJP leaders are giving different interpretations. After the Goods and Services Tax was introduced Mamata Banerjee had invited them to a debate. Did they accept it?”
Opposition parties in the state had a similar stand.
“We have no problem but is the home minister himself aware of the issue?” Pradip Bhattacharya, Congress Rajya Sabha MP, asked.
“There is no similarity between what the Prime Minister and the Union home minister are saying. Also, they are changing their stand every other day,” Bhattacharya said.
Sujan Chakraborty, CPI(M) legislator, said, “They are trying to take away the citizenship of those who voted for them. If these voters are not Indian citizens then the election itself was illegal. In that case, all BJP Lok Sabha members should resign. Will they do that?
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