- The opposition, PM Modi said, is spreading propaganda
- Opposition accused centre of undermining India's reputation across world
- "I don't work for my reputation, but for India's repute," PM Modi said
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said the citizenship law was brought to "correct a historical injustice and fulfil a promise to minorities in the neighbouring countries". Speaking at a rally of the National Cadet Corps in Delhi, he spoke of the injustices made during partition, when a "line was drawn across a piece of paper".
At the time, he said, "those who governed an independent India accepted partition".
"Nehru-Liyaquat pact spoke about protecting minorities, Gandhiji wished the same. The government has introduced CAA to fulfil a promise India made," he added.
Attacking political opponents who are opposing the Citizenship Amendment Act, he said they are motivated by "votebank politics". Without naming anyone, he said such people are "negating atrocities".
"Some are acting to be the voice of Dalits, they are the same people who ignore atrocities against Dalits in Pakistan, they forget that most of persecuted who have left Pakistan and come to India are Dalits," he said.
The opposition, he also said, is spreading propaganda that the government's decisions have "affected my reputation in the entire world". "These rumor-mongers must understand that I don't work for my reputation, but for India's repute," he said.
His words come in the backdrop of the six resolutions moved in the parliament of the European Union on the Citizenship Amendment Act, which expresses concern that it would create the "largest statelessness crisis in the world". India has also slipped 10 spots in the Democracy Index of the Economist Intelligence Unit, which cited the citizenship law and the five-month-long restrictions in Jammu and Kashmir.
The opposition has accused the government of undermining India's reputation across the world. Today, Congress's Rahul Gandhi attacked the government, saying, "India's global image, brotherhood used to be a characteristic feature, people use to criticise Pakistan. PM has destroyed this image".
The Citizenship Amendment Act makes religion, for the first time, the test of Indian citizenship. The government says it will help non-Muslim refugees from three Muslim-dominated neighbouring countries if they fled to India because of religious persecution. Critics say the bill discriminates against Muslims and violates secular tenets of the Constitution.
His government, PM Modi said, has addressed the issues of Bodo movement, the Kartarpur Gurdwara which lies in Pakistan, the Enemy Properties Act with Bangladesh and banned Triple Talaq to give Muslim women their rights. "Every Indian is valuable to us and we are walking ahead with this thought," he added.