Minutes after the Supreme Court provided four-week time to Centre to respond on the petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the amended Citizenship Act, Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav has accepted to debate on it with the Home Minister Amit Shah. Responding on Shah's challenge to Yadav, for an "open debate on CAA", earlier on Monday, the SP leader has said that the Home Minister can choose the place for the debate.
"As far as the debate on CAA is concerned, I want to tell the BJP that they can decide a place for the debate, they can bring their people and also their favourite media channels, and they can have a debate on development, and we Samajwadi people can debate with them whenever they want. We are ready," Akhilesh Yadav said.
Apart from Yadav, Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday also challenged former Congress president Rahul Gandhi, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, to a debate on the contentious CAA. Speaking at the 'Jan Jagaran Abhiyan' in Lucknow, he challenged the three opposition leaders to a debate on the CAA. He had also challenged Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, to show any provision in the Act which can prove that it takes away citizenship from minorities. Taking a jibe at Sonia Gandhi's Italian origins, On January 3, Shah has also stated that he would get the Act translated into Italian if needed.
Reacting to his statement that the CAA will not be withdrawn, Akhilesh Yadav also claimed that it reflected intolerance as the BJP "wants to crush people with the road roller of its majority". Lashing out at the BJP, the former UP CM said the saffron party is making "intolerance" as its identity.
"Playing with basic principles of democracy, the BJP is going ahead with making intolerance its identify. Shah's statement that he would implement the CAA at any cost shows that the government wants to crush people with the road roller of its majority," Yadav said in a statement. "Due to its anti-people policies, the BJP is becoming unpopular among people. Protests are going on in the entire country against the CAA and the NRC due to which BJP has focused on Jan Jagran rallies and such programmes," he added.
Meanwhile, concluding the hearing on a batch of pleas challenging the constitutional validity of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), the Supreme Court on Wednesday gave the Centre four weeks to respond. On Assam and Tripura, the top court said that it will hear the petitions separately, as the problem with CAA in these two states is different from the of the country. Making it clear that it will not grant any stay on the CAA without hearing the Centre, a bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde also restrained all high courts from hearing pleas on CAA till it decides the petitions.