Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram has proposed a way out for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to deal with his critics over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, which has triggered protests and apprehension across the country.
The former Union finance minister accused the Prime Minister of not having a dialogue with his critics, who do not believe Modi’s stance that CAA is meant to give citizenship and not take it away.
He reiterated what the opposition parties have been saying that the legislation, if combined with an all-India National Register for Citizens (NRC), could result in the expulsion or detention of those Muslims who would not be able to provide the documentation required.
“PM talks from high platforms to silent audiences and does not take questions. We talk through the media and are willing to take questions from media persons,” he said in a series of tweets.
“The only way out is for the PM to select five of his most articulate critics and have a televised Q and A session with them. Let the people listen to the discussion and reach their conclusions on CAA. I sincerely hope PM will respond favourably to this suggestion,” he added.
The senior leader’s tweets came hours ahead of a meeting of the opposition parties, called by Congress president Sonia Gandhi, in New Delhi to form a joint strategy to counter the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Centre on issues including the citizenship act.
Leaders of the Congress, Left parties, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) will be among those to hold talks in the afternoon.
The BJP’s top leaders, including Prime Minister Modi and home minister Amit Shah, have said the law does take away an individual’s citizenship, and accused political rivals of spreading misinformation on the issue.
Facing protests across the country, the ruling party has launched a door-to-door campaign that will reach out to three crore families to dispel doubts about the provisions of CAA and clear perceptions.