Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati on Wednesday urged the Centre to withdraw the amended citizenship law and seek consensus to bring in a new one, even as she lashed out at both BJP and Congress for being “two sides of the same coin”.
She accused the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government at the Centre of not taking others into confidence before bringing in the Citizen Amendment Bill (CAB). “That’s why, there is an in outcry the country,” Mayawati told reporters at a press conference here on her 64th birthday.
“The BSP had been repeatedly urging the Centre to first send the CAB to the Standing Committee, so that it becomes an absolutely correct law,” she said.
Accusing the Centre of stubbornness, she said the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) at first glance appears to be divisive and unconstitutional. Mayawati accused the BJP and the opposition Congress of playing “dirty politics”, prompting a strong reaction from the ruling party which reminded her that the BSP had supported Manmohan Singh’s Congress government at the Centre.
“For the past some time, political parties are accusing each other of spreading lies and indulging in dirty politics, in which the BJP and the Congress are ahead of the others,” the BSP chief said. “Our party does not indulge in dirty politics on the basis of lies. I am saying this today as on the foundation day of the Congress last month, it was said that barring the Congress, other opposition parties in UP are not raising their voice against the NRC and the CAA,” she said, also referring to the criticism of the National Register of Citizens.
“This is a baseless allegation as, when the Union Cabinet approved the CAB, I was the first to register a protest. At that time, the Congress and most other parties were silent on it. Their silence was broken when the Bill was tabled in Parliament,” she said. “Our party opposed it in both Houses of Parliament,” she added.
The amended law allows an easier route to citizenship for Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Christians, Parsis and Jains who entered India from three neighbouring countries before 2015 after facing religious persecution. Muslims don’t figure in