A day after Citizenship Amendment act was brought into force by the Centre, Home Minister Amit Shah, on Saturday, challenged Opposition leaders Arvind Kejriwal, Mamata Banerjee and Rahul Gandhi to show any provision which takes away citizenship from minorities, while addressing a gathering in his Lok Sabha constituency- Gandhinagar. The Home Minister who was at Gandhinagar to inaugurate VISWAS and Cyber Aashvast Project in the city threw this open challenge. He also extolled PM Modi as the son of Gujarat and his stint as the state's Chief Minister.
"I challenge Rahul Gandhi, Arvind Kejriwal, and Mamata Banerjee to show me a provision where anyone will lose their citizenship. I am ready to give answers to them," he said. Shah has maintained that the Act is one which 'grants citizenship, not takes citizenship', as a part of BJP's pro-CAA outreach.
Shah's statement comes on the same day PM Modi met with West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee at Kolkata's Raj Bhavan and had a 20-minute chat on the current issues plaguing the state. Post-meeting, Mamata Banerjee has stated it was a courtesy meet and that she had raised her government's opposition against the Centre's Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), National Register of Citizens (NRC) and National Population Register (NPR). She stated that the PM assured her that further discussions will be held in Delhi. The Prime Minister is on a two-day visit to Kolkata on the occasion of 150 years of Kolkata Port Trust.
Previously on January 3, Shah challenged former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi saying that he was ready to debate him on the act anywhere. Taking a jibe at Sonia Gandhi's Italian origins he said that he would get the Act translated into Italian if needed. The BJP had kickstarted its pro-CAA outreach program with PM Modi, on January 2, slamming the Opposition for concentrating on the Act and not Pakistan.
The protests against CAA which began in Assam has now spread throughout the country. Violent protests were witnessed in Uttar Pradesh, Assam, West Bengal, Gujarat, Karnataka, Bihar, Delhi, and Maharashtra. While thousands have been detained by the police throughout the country, at least 27 people have died till date in these protests. Several universities - Jamia Millia, Aligarh, Madras University witnessed clashes between police and students which resulted in alleged lathi- charging, tear gas and rubber pellet action by police and vandalism by protestors.