After three days of violence left at least 42 dead and over 350 injured in Northeast Delhi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Friday accused the Opposition of inciting violence by provoking people against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
In his first remarks since the unprecedented violence broke out in Delhi earlier this week, Shah said: “Congress, Mamata Banerjee, SP and BSP are all opposing the CAA. They are saying this will take away the civil rights of minorities. Why are they all lying?”
Amit Shah’s statement came while addressing a rally at the Janata Maidan in Bhubaneshwar in support of CAA.
He further asserted that CAA is a law to give citizenship and not meant to take anyone’s citizenship away.
Further targeting the Opposition, the Home Minister said people should come out and ask those fomenting trouble to explain which clause of the CAA talked about snatching citizenship of people.
“Opposition parties are spreading misinformation that Muslims will lose their Indian citizenship because of the CAA. They are instigating people and fomenting riots,” he said.
The Congress has held the Centre and Delhi government “directly responsible” for the riots in the northeast part of the national capital and demanded Amit Shah’s resignation.
On Thursday, a delegation from the Indian National Congress led by Gandhi and former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh called on President Ram Nath Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhavan and submitted a memorandum on the unprecedented violence in Delhi.
Addressing the media after submitting the memorandum, Gandhi had said that Home Minister Amit Shah should be sacked for “abdicating” his duties and both the centre and Arvind Kejriwal’s government in Delhi had been “mute spectators” to the clashes.
Alleging the violence as a “planned incident”, Sonia Gandhi had claimed that there is a “conspiracy behind the violence which the country witnessed during the Delhi elections as well”.
Meanwhile, ahead of the rally, Amit Shah had chaired a meeting of the Eastern Zonal Council (EZC), which was attended by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik and his Bihar counterpart Nitish Kumar.
Odisha BJP president Samir Mohanty had earlier said the rally was part of BJP’s countrywide awareness programme on the Citizenship Act, undertaken in January following protests by the opposition against the amended law.
Union Ministers Dharmendra Pradhan, Babul Supriyo and Giriraj Singh and BJP MP Rupa Ganguli have already addressed public meetings counting virtues of CAA in different places of Odisha including Cuttack, Berhampur, Sambalpur and Jeypore.
Apart from organizing awareness campaigns and rallies on the CAA in all organisational districts of Odisha, BJP workers have congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Mr Shah by sending postcard messages.