Hyderabad, Jan 3 (PTI) Asserting that the Citizenship Amendment Act was not against any citizen of the country, senior BJP leader Ram Madhav on Friday said the opposition parties protesting the legislation do not have enough knowledge of the subject.
He also said there were certain rules for obtaining citizenship in this country, under which AICC Supremo Sonia Gandhi and singer Adnan Sami became Indian nationals.
Alleging that the parties opposing the CAA were not aware of the facts of the Act, Madhav said, "They do not even make any attempt to know the facts. So they try to mislead people."
"These parties are knowledge-proof like we used have water-proof watches in our earlier days, the BJP National General Secretary said in his address at Osmania University here on 'A Talk on Citizenship Amendment Act.'
The BJP leader further alleged that oppositions or those oppose the CAA try to divide the country on communal lines as they couldn't face the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on political front.
The amended citizenship act envisages providing Indian nationality to persecuted minorities such as Hindus from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh who came to India as refugees prior to December 2014.
According to him a large number of refugees Hindus, Buddhists and Christians from Bangladesh after its declaration as Islamic nation and subsequent developments, came to India and have been living for the past few decades.
".. they come to India under adverse and unbearable conditions.. as per 1993 US state department's published data, there are 44 lakh refugees are there in India," he said.
During the past ten years, the situation in Bangladesh is improving.
After Sheik Hasina became the Prime Minister, some positive steps were taken with regards to minorities' rights in that country leading to lesser refugees to India from there, he added.
Madhav appealed to the Muslim community not to fall prey to the disinformation campaign carried out by some opposition parties.
"The CAA is not against Muslims or any other religion. Some of the minority community people in our country have earlier became scapegoats to this kind of campaign," he alleged.
Later, talking to reporters Madhav said bringing CAA is an unfinished agenda of the Centre right from the times of former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, who invited and allowed persecuted minorities from the neghbouring countries to come and live in India.
"Nehru had done it. Indira Gandhi had done it. Now what we are doing is taking it to a logical conclusion by offering citizenship to them.
But the opposition is spreading falsehood aboutit," he claimed.
To counter the opposition parties' false campaign against the CAA, the BJP leader said his party has decided to reach out to the masses and create awareness on the subject.
"We have decided to go back to the people and tell them that it is as per the India's civilisational character, civilisational DNA that we are offering citizenship to refugees who come from our neighbourhood," he said.
Noting that laws of the country allow anybody to apply for citizenship and get it, he said, "So many people come to India for studies and stay here. Everybody has right to get the citizenship as per rules."
"There are certain rules for getting citizenship. We will follow them (while granting citizenship) Sonia Gandhi was also given citizenship and Adnan Sami was also given citizenship as per those rules," he added.
Delivering a talk on CAA here later, Ram Madhav said it should not be made into a Hindu-Muslim discourse as the measure did not matter for Indians. "It only offers citizenship to a particular group of people," he said. Rejecting allegations that it was discriminatory, he said citizenship in India was available to whoever seeks it, irrespective of religion, caste and language but everybody has to fulfil certain criteria, he said. Responding to a query from the audience as to what will happen if some of the states refuse to go by the CAA, he said: "Constitutionally, states cannot refuse....Leaders can refuse. If the leaders refuse to follow the Constitution, those leaders have to be changed".
(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from Syndicated News feed, LatestLY Staff may not have modified or edited the content body)