Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday accused the Congress and other opposition parties of peddling lies over the amended Citizenship Act and dared them to publicly declare that they are prepared to accord Indian citizenship to all Pakistanis.
Speaking at a rally in Jharkhand, PM Modi said,"Congress and its allies are creating an atmosphere of fear to scare theIndian Muslims. They're spreading violence."
Citizenship (Amendment) Act neither takes away the rights ofan Indian nor harms him in any manner, PM Modi said and urged students toprotest democratically.
"Indian Constitution is our only holy book. I appeal toyouth in colleges to debate our policies, protest democratically. We willlisten to you. But some parties, urban Naxals, are firing off yourshoulders," PM Modi said.
He alleged that "urban Naxals" were trying toinstigate youth in the country to foment trouble.
"The law we have made is for people fleeing 3 nationsdue to religious persecution; It's for those who are miserable and can't goback," said PM Modi.
He said the law was enacted for religious minorities ofthree nations – Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan – who fled their countriesbecause of religious persecution.
"It's for people who have fled three countries due toatrocities on account of their religious faith. It's for those who are livingin miserable conditions and cannot go back," he said.
CITIZENSHIP AMENDMENT ACT NOT ANTI-MUSLIM: RAJNATH SINGH
The amended Citizenship Act is not anti-Muslim, DefenceMinister Rajnath Singh assured the Indian community in the US and said"our culture does not teach us to hate".
Singh, who arrived in the US on Monday for the 2019 US-India2+2 Ministerial Dialogue in Washington on December 18, addressed members of theIndian community here during an event organised by the Consulate General ofIndia at the educational organisation, Asia Society.
He spoke on various decisions taken by the NarendraModigovernment, including the abrogation of Article 370, the Citizenship(Amendment) Bill, the Triple Talaq bill and India's response to terrorism.
"The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, which is now law, isnot anti-Muslim," Singh said.
Singh said Muslims are not included in the CAA as these threecountries are "theocratic" and "Islamic" states and"in an Islamic state, at least those who follow the religion of Islam donot face religious persecution. May be they face some other persecution but notreligious persecution because the religion of that state is Islam".
"That is why, we didn't give it to Muslims. Otherwisewe are not the ones to discriminate on the basis of caste, creed or religion.Our culture does not teach us to hate," he said amid an applause from theaudience.
"I consider every Muslim living in India as my brother,as my family member," he said, adding that it is India which has given themessage of 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam' to the world.
In response to a question about protests and disruptions inAssam and Bengal over the CAA, he said, "The situation is under control.Any confusion will be removed."
"I want to make it clear that the CAB is notanti-Muslim. If anyone can tell me that the CAB is anti-Muslim, then we willrethink about CAB" but not if someone tries to just create an air over theissue. "This will not do."
Applauding the courage and valour of India's armed forces,Singh recalled his France visit in October to receive the first of the 36Rafale fighter jets at a facility of Dassault Aviation in the French cityBordeaux.
He said now that India will have the jets, "if we haveto eliminate the terror camps, there will be no need to take the planes toPakistan. We can do it from India".
Replying to a member of the audience who commented that Singh had said that if talks are held with Pakistan, it will now be on Pakistan-administered Kashmir (PaK), the defence minister said, "What is there to talk, PaK is ours", amidst a loud cheer from the audience.
Singh had said that if talks were held with Pakistan infuture, it would be only on PaK.
Singh said India's military strength is increasing, but thecountry also takes precaution even when dealing with Pakistan.
He said if India wanted, it could have attacked the militaryestablishments and civilian areas in Pakistan but that would have resulted in alot of casualties.
"But we took precaution and decided that we have totarget and eliminate only those places where there are terror training camps.Not one civilian was killed and neither did we attack any Pakistani militaryestablishment. We never want to attack a country's sovereignty. This is ourcharacter."
On the abrogation of Article 370 to revoke Jammu andKashmir's special status, he said the BJP government has done what it hadpromised in 1951.