VADODARA: The Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC) exercise are aimed at “dividing” the country on communal lines, former Union minister Yashwant Sinha said on Monday.
He claimed Mahatma Gandhi, if he were alive today, would have led an agitation against Prime Minister Narendra Modi for taking “communal” decisions.
Sinha, who was in the city as part of his Gandhi Shanti Yatra, demanded scrapping of the CAA, which aims to give Indian citizenship to persecuted non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
“Several state governments want the CAA repealed and the NRC exercise dropped. The CAA should be repealed as it is aimed at dividing the country on communal lines. We do not want another division of the country,” he said.
“We remained silent despite the Modi government destroying the cabinet system, ordering demonetisation, introducing GST hurriedly.
“But after the CAA and NRC, there is need for the youth to raise their anger on issues that will weaken the country,” the former BJP leader claimed.
“If Mahatma Gandhi were alive today, he would have led an agitation against Modi because the government is taking decisions on communal lines,” he said.
“Members of the Muslim community are proud of holding the tricolour in their hands. And it was Babasaheb Ambedkar who drafted the Constitution and made India a secular country. We will not allow the hidden agenda of Modi behind the CAA and NRC to succeed,” the bureaucrat-turned-politician asserted.
Speaking on other issues, Sinha questioned Modi for not inviting Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for a pre-budget meeting.
Former Lok Sabha MP and Congress leader Shatrughan Sinha and ex-Gujarat chief minister Suresh Mehta were present on the occasion.
The 3,000-km-long yatra, which started in Mumbai on January 9, will cover Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana before culminating at Raj Ghat in Delhi on January 30, coinciding with Mahatma Gandhi’s death anniversary.
The march has been organised to demand repeal of the CAA, a judicial inquiry into “state-sponsored violence” such as the January 5 attack on JNU students and assurance from the Centre in Parliament that there will be no nationwide NRC.