BJP working president JP Nadda said on Sunday that opposition parties protesting against the amended citizenship law are "anti-Dalits" as 70-80 per cent of the people to be benefited from the legislation are from the community.
The Dalit leaders who are opposing the law should be exposed, he said, asserting that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the "biggest protector" of the community.
Addressing a programme organised by a Dalit group, Mr Nadda accused the Congress of spearheading the campaign to "mislead" minorities over the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and stressed that the new law is all about giving citizenship to minorities from three neighbouring countries and not about taking away anyone's citizenship.
With most opposition parties opposing the Citizenship Amendment Act for incorporating religion as a criterion for granting citizenship to people who have escaped from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, Mr Nadda said the amended law has done "justice" to the people who were exploited and deprived of their rights in these countries.
It has acted as a balm on festering wounds left behind by the Congress, he said.
Naming many castes to which the expected beneficiaries of the amended law belong, he claimed 70 to 80 per cent of them are Dalits.
"Those who are opposing it are anti-Dalits. We should understand," the BJP leader said and asked people to reach out to the members of the community over the issue.
Accusing the Congress and other opposition parties using "vote bank and appeasement" politics, Mr Nadda said they put their votes ahead of the country.
"Our opponents first opposed the Citizenship Amendment Bill in Parliament and are now they are opposing the other way. The public is being misled. When India's partition had happened, Congress was behind it and religion was the basis of that partition. Few Hindus went there and Muslims came here," Mr Nadda said addressing another event in memory of Atal Bihari Vajpayee at Talkatora stadium here.
"Nehru had signed a pact that India will take care of their people living here and they will take care of our people and minorities will be protected. India being a secular country kept its word while Pakistan declared itself an Islamic country and East Pakistan became Bangladesh. With CAA we just want that our Hindu, Sikh, Christian and other brothers, who have been tortured or not treated well, are welcomed home and are able to become part of their own country," he added.
Mr Nadda said that "majority of these people are Dalit and Harijans" and lamented that Dalit leaders are opposing the new law.