Amid violent protests against the contentious citizenship law, senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday launched a blistering attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah, alleging they are dividing the country as they can't face public anger against unemployment and the state of economy.
"Dear youth of India, Modi and Shah have destroyed your future. They can't face your anger over the lack of jobs and damage they've done to the economy. That's why they are dividing our beloved India hiding behind hate. We can only defeat them by responding with love towards every Indian," he tweeted.
Dear Youth of ????????,— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) December 22, 2019
Modi & Shah have destroyed your future.They can't face your anger over the lack of jobs & damage they've done to the economy. That's why they are dividing our beloved ????????& hiding behind hate.
We can only defeat them by responding with love towards every Indian.
Violent protests broke out in several parts of the country after the citizenship law - which for the first time makes religion the test of citizenship in India - was passed in parliament earlier this month.
Several people have died in Assam, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh in violence over the week. On Friday, 13 people had died in UP in clashes between the police and protesters.
The government says it will help minorities from three Muslim-dominated countries to get citizenship if they fled to India before 2015 because of religious persecution. Critics, however, say the law is designed to discriminate against Muslims and violates the secular principles of the constitution.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, at a rally in Delhi on Sunday, attempted to allay the fear of protesters, saying the "Muslims of this country's soil" have nothing to do with the citizenship law and the National Register of Citizens (NRC).
"Those who are the Muslims of this country's soil, they have nothing to do with the citizenship law and the NRC. Neither is anybody sending the nation's Muslims to detention centres nor are there any detention centres in India. This is a white lie which is dividing the nation," he said.
The Congress will hold a protest against the law at Rajghat - the memorial of Mahatma Gandhi - on Monday. Senior party leader Rahul Gandhi, who had been abroad since the protests over the new law escalated last Sunday, is expected to attend the meet.