Union Minister G Kishan Reddy said on Sunday that half of Bangladesh’s population will leave their country if Indian citizenship was promised to them.
Reddy, while speaking at the Sant Ravidas Jayanti celebrations in Hyderabad, challenged Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao to prove how the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) was against the 130 crore Indians living in the country.
“Half of Bangladesh will be empty (vacant) if India offers citizenship to them (Bangladeshis). Half of Bangladeshis will come over to India if citizenship is promised (to them). Who will take responsibility? KCR? Or Rahul Gandhi?,” he asked.
Reddy said, “They seek citizenship for infiltrators. The Government of India is ready to review the CAA.”
Noting that CAA was brought in on humanitarian grounds for certain persecuted communities in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, he said some political parties were demanding that citizenship be given to Muslims of those countries also.
Taking a dig at the TRS and its “friendly party” AIMIM, Mr Reddy alleged that the former was indulging in vote bank politics.
“I am requesting the TRS party. I am requesting the chief minister (KCR). I am challenging the chief minister to prove if any one person out of 130 crore citizens of this country is affected by the Citizenship Amendment Act,” the Union Minister of State for Home said.
Asserting that refugees and infiltrators should not be treated alike, he claimed that parties such as Congress were seeking citizenship for infiltrators, who came from Bangladesh and Pakistan.
According to him, some refugees have been staying in India for the past 40 years without any facilities and documents such as voter id, Aadhar or ration card.
The Supreme Court had last month made it clear that it will not pass restraint orders on the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) or the National Population Register (NPR) or the National Register of Citizens (NRC) without hearing the Centre and thereby allowing the government to freely implement the laws.
Protests have erupted across the nation with violence and arson emerging from different parts of Delhi, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and the northeastern states of Assam, Tripura and Manipur after the citizenship law was amended.
According to the new law, members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities, who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, till December 31, 2014, facing religious persecution there, will not be treated as illegal immigrants but given Indian citizenship.
Those opposing the amended law say it discriminates on the basis of religion and violates the Constitution. They also allege that the CAA, along with the proposed pan-India National Register of Citizens (NRC), is intended to target India’s Muslim community.
(With PTI inputs)