Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram slammed the BJP on Thursday, saying with a focus on the National Population Register, Citizenship Amendment Act and a countrywide NRC, it wants to "somehow implement its Hindu Rashtra" project.
Speaking at a programme, organised by a Left-backed outfit, he also criticised the IIT Madras director over a German student, Jacob Lindenthal, being asked to leave the country allegedly because he had taken part in a protest against the CAA.
"By taking part in the protests, he (the student) has actually reminded us that the IIT Madras was set up with the support of the German government. We should thank him for that. But he was asked to leave the country. Where did the IIT director go? Is he retired? or has he gone on a leave? Or is he dead?" the former Union home minister asked.
The meeting was also attended by CPI (M) leader Prakash Karat and Member of Parliament Kanimozhi.
Mr Chidambaram said after the BJP came back to power with a bigger mandate, it was focusing on subjects like the National Population Register, the CAA and the NRC.
"What they want is to somehow implement the Hindu Rashtra. If Hindu Rashtra gets implemented, it will not only harm Muslims, but also other sections of society like the Dalits," he said.
Mr Chidambaram said that countrywide protests against the CAA should not be portrayed as an issue between the government and Muslims because "that is what government is also wanting".
"Do not fall prey to that. This is a protest between all section of people who live in the country and the government", he said.
Talking about the German student, the Congress leader said, "He was silently asked to leave India (for taking part in the anti-CAA rally). There is no (official) word from IIT Director on this."
While taking part in an anti-CAA rally, Jacob Lindenthal was carrying a poster that read "1933-1945: We Have been There" (a reference to the Nazi regime). He later told media that IIT Madras and immigration officials had asked him to leave the country a few days after the agitation.