The foundation for the two-nation theory was laid by Vinayak Damodar Savarkar and not the Congress, senior party leader Manish Tewari said in parliament today amid a debate over the contentious issue of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB). Mr Tewari's attack was aimed at Union Home Minister Amit Shah after he had earlier said that the Congress was responsible for India's partition. He further said that Savarkar had pushed for the two-nation theory at a session of the Hindu Mahasabha in 1935.
"Today Home Minister said that Congress is responsible for partition on the basis of religion. I want to make it clear that the foundation for two-nation theory was laid in 1935 in Ahmedabad by Savarkar in a Hindu Mahasabha session, and not Congress," Mr Tewari was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Mr Tewari also said that the Citizenship Bill went against the principles Article 14, Article 15, Article 21, Article 25 and Article 26 of the Constitution of India. The articles mainly deal with the right to equality and equal protection of laws.
"The bill is against the Constitution, against the spirit of Constitution and against the ideology propounded by Babasaheb Ambedkar," Mr Tewari said, adding that secularism was "embedded" in the constitution.
Amit Shah, earlier speaking on the necessity of the bill, had said that the bill "wouldn't have been needed if the Congress had not allowed partition on basis of religion".
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill seeks to amend a six-decade-old law to make it easier for non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan to become Indian citizens.
The original Citizenship Act of 1955 stated that individuals seeking Indian citizenship should have lived in the country for 11 of the last 14 years. The amendment proposes to reduce that time period to five years for non-Muslim applicants, and grants them immunity from government action.
(With Inputs From ANI)