150 countries for Muslims, for Hindus India only option, says Vijay Rupani

Rupani accused the Congress of not honoring the wishes of Mahatma Gandhi and former prime minister Manmohan Singh on the issue

Ahemdabad: While Muslims can choose any one of the 150 Islamic countries in the world for residence, India is the only country for Hindus, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said on Tuesday while clarifying the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

During a rally in support of the CAA outside the Sabarmati Ashram here, the chief minister slammed the Congress for opposing the new law that grants Indian citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Bangladesh have migrated till December 31, 2014.

Rupani accused the Congress of not honoring the wishes of Mahatma Gandhi and former prime minister Manmohan Singh on the issue.

“There was 22 percent Hindus in Pakistan at the time of Partition in 1947. Due to persecution, rapes and constant torture, their population has deducted to just 3 percent. That is why Hindus want to come back to India. Our government is doing what the Congress was supposed to do to help these mistreated Hindus. And when the central government is doing it now, they are opposing it,” said Rupani. He said the Hindu population has decreased to just 2 percent in Bangladesh.

“Out of 2 lakh Hindu and Sikh residents in Afghanistan some decades back, their number is just 500 today. Muslims can go to any of the 150 countries, for the Hindus there is only one country, and that is India. So what is the problem if they want to come back?” asked Rupani.

On Tuesday seeking to counter-protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act in various of the nation, Gujarat BJP leaders and government functionaries took part in such pro-CAA rallies across all 33 districts of the state.

The organisers for the rallies and demonstrations were from ‘Nagrik Samitis’ (citizen committees) having the support of the RSS.

“Gandhiji was also of the opinion that India should grant citizenship to Hindus and Sikhs of Pakistan. Even Manmohan Singh had supported such a proposal when he was the PM under Congress rule. Congress must explain to the country why the party is opposing the CAA now,” said Rupani.

Without taking any name, Rupani also targetted Dalit leaders and outfits opposing the new CAA.

“There are 10,000 refugees from these nations living in Gujarat. Most of them are living in Kutch are Dalits, like Maheshwari and Meghwal communities.

“Dalit leaders need to explain why they are not in favor of granting citizenship to these Dalit refugees. By opposing the CAA, these Dalit leaders have been exposed,” said Rupani.

Further, the BJP leader said it was “misfortune of India” to have parties and leaders like the “Congress, the Communists and West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee”.

Rupani accused them of “inciting” Muslims and other people to fulfill “their own political agenda and destabilize the government”. “It appears that these parties are having the fear that they may have to lose power if Hindus become citizens and illegal immigrants thrown out under the National Register of Citizens (NRC),” he said.

He added that the BJP government in Gujarat has already started granting citizenship to such persecuted refugees. Retired High Court Justice S M Soni, who heads Ahmedabad Nagrik Samiti, supported the CAA saying it does not violate any provisions of the Constitution as contended in some petitions filed before the top court against the act.

“The CAA does not bar a Muslim from applying for Indian citizenship. He can do so by following proper procedures. This Act does not discriminate. Provisions of the Constitution do not apply to those who are yet to become citizens. This Act has fulfilled the dream of Mahatma Gandhi,” said Soni.

Many BJP leaders and ministers attended similar events organized in different parts of the state throughout the day.

In Surat, Forest Minister Ganpat Vasava and a huge number of residents took part in a demonstration held near the collector’s office and extended their support to the CAA.

Surat MP Darshana Jardosh and local MLAs Purnesh Modi and Vivek Patel also participated in agitation in support of CAA.

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