NEW DELHI :
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday launched a door-to-door campaign in support of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, or CAA.
This comes even as the BJP’s Bihar ally, the Janata Dal (United), or JD(U), led by chief minister Nitish Kumar, remains split over its endorsement of creating a National Population Register (NPR).
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and home minister Amit Shah have made enlisting support for the CAA a key agenda of the public meetings and other campaigns they have held over the last fortnight. On Sunday, Shah along with senior party leaders visited homes in Delhi’s Lajpat Nagar area and spoke with the people there about the CAA. The BJP has also launched a jan jagran or public awareness campaign with the aim of contacting 30 million families to counter the Opposition campaign against the CAA.
Opposition to the CAA, the NPR, and the National Register of Citizens has come from various sections of the country, including West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, and the chief ministers of various Congress-ruled states.
“I want to tell my brothers and sisters from the minority community that none of them can lose their citizenship because the CAA has no provision about taking it away,” Shah said in the national capital on Sunday. Opposition parties have become habituated to the “politics of opposition and vote bank”, he said and appealed to BJP workers to carry out an awareness campaign over CAA.
Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman held a press conference in Jaipur on Sunday, where she accused the Congress of “creating confusion and misleading people” over CAA.
Meanwhile, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra met families of those injured during the anti-CAA protests in Uttar Pradesh.
Vadra demanded that Bhim Army leader Chandrasekhar Azad, who has been lodged in Tihar jail since being arrested for leading a protest against CAA in Delhi in December, be moved to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences for treatment. The Congress leader criticized the Centre for its “policy of oppressing all expressions of dissent and protest has reached the point of cowardice.”
Meanwhile, a day after endorsing Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Modi’s announcement that the process of NPR updation will take place between 15 May and 28 May in Bihar, the JD(U) saw a split with its senior leader and national general secretary Pavan K. Varma writing to chief minister Kumar urging him to make a “clear- cut public statement” of not supporting CAA-NPR-NRC.
“I have written to Shri Nitish Kumar today against the unilateral announcement by Deputy CM Sushil Modi that NPR will be implemented in Bihar in May 2020. Have requested Nitish ji to categorically reject the CAA-NPR-NRC divisive scheme,” Varma wrote on Twitter.
contributed to this story.