Congress leader P Chidambaram on Sunday took a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), National Register of Citizens (NRC) and National Population Register (NPR), telling him to ask visiting US President Donald Trump if it was possible to extradite as many as 19 lakh people from Assam.
Addressing a meet against the Citizenship Amendment Act in Chennai, the former home minister, citing the BJP’s brute majority in parliament, asked what was the guarantee that the government would not bring in an amendment, similar to the CAA, to give a push to its idea of a “Hindu” country. Alleging that there was a great threat to the Constitution and the need to save it, he said countries were now asking questions over the CAA.
“US President Donald Trump has said that he will ask questions about the CAA even before his arrival. If six to 10 lakh people are going to be affected, will the visiting leader go without posing questions?” he asked.
The European Parliament, UNHRC and a United States panel on religious freedom were all asking questions, calling upon the government to give up the contentious law.
“We know who will be affected. The government is hiding that. The world (countries) is not a fool; it is awake that this will bring a huge threat to Muslims on the basis of their religion,” he said, adding most countries have started asking questions. The CAA was “a tool” evolved to retain 12 lakh Hindus and send out seven lakh Muslims in Assam, he alleged. While there are countries that have stopped illegal immigration, there was no country that extradited as many as 19 lakh people, he said.
“Which country has extradited 19 lakh people? If Narendra Modi has any doubt, he can ask American President Donald Trump and he will answer,” he said. He asked if the US president, who had all along talked about sending back those from Mexico, was successful. “Where to send 19 lakh people? Which country is ready to accept them? Through which mode of transport will you send them?” he asked.
Tracing the background to the NRC, beginning with the Assam accord, to determine foreigners, he said his party had cautioned, as early as when the survey was mooted, that it would lead to social discord. While 40 lakh people were identified as foreigners in the exercise initially, a review pegged it at 19,06,657, he said. “The NRC in Assam is a very big failure,” he said.
Chidambaram’s comments come ahead of US President Donald Trump’s visit to India who in his own country is known for anti-immigration policies. Trump