Amit Shah. (File Photo: IANS). Image Source: IANS News

Bengaluru, Jan 18 : Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday at a meeting here said that anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) voices are anti-Dalit.

"Seventy per cent of these refugees are Dalits. I want to ask the protesters that are against CAA, what will you benefit from protesting against these Dalits? Anti-CAA is anti-Dalit as well," said Shah at a Jan Jagran Abhiyan meeting at Nehru Stadium in Hubli, a town 415 km northwest of Bengaluru.

Shah claimed 60-70 per cent of the religiously persecuted minorities in the Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh belonged to Dalits, including Matuas, Rajvanshis, Meghwals and others.

CAA offers citizenship to persecuted Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists, Parsis and Jains from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, excluding all kinds of persecuted Muslims such as Shias, Ahmediays and others.

Castigating Congress Parliamentarian Rahul Gandhi, Shah said both Gandhi and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said that Article 370 should not be abrogated.

"Both say that CAA should not be implemented. I can't understand the relationship between Imran Khan and Congress leaders," he said at the pro-CAA meeting.

Shah said Congress not only protested the CAA but every nationalistic move by Prime Minister Narendra Modi who corrected a mistake committed by Gandhi's forefather Jawaharlal Nehru.

Referring to Mahatma Gandhi, Shah said that the Mahatma told in 1947 that Hindus and Sikhs living in Pakistan have all the rights to return to India if they were not being treated equally.

It is government of India's responsibility to help them, he said.

Giving a picture of the ill-treatment minorities suffered in the neighbouring countries, the Home Minister said, "Numerous rapes were committed. Religious shrines were broken down. The minorities weren't given jobs, electoral rights and thus had to come to India as refugees." He also referred to the destruction of giant Buddha statues in Bamian in Afghanistan, way back in 2001 under the Taliban.

Aiming to better sell CAA to the masses, Shah said there is no clause in the CAA which deprives Indian Muslims of citizenship.

He blamed Rahul Gandhi, Arvind Kejriwal, Mamata Banerjee, Communist Parties, Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party for the CAA protests and agitations.

"The Congress party practices bigotry. In Congress' manifesto before the Rajasthan elections last year, it said Hindu and Sikh refugees in Rajasthan will be provided citizenship. That same Ashok Gehlot and Rahul Gandhi are protesting against this Act (CAA)," said Shah.

He also called upon human rights activists to visit the refugee camps to see how they are suffering without water, drainage or basic amenities for the last 70 years, bereft of a right to vote yet.

Shah said all the promises of citizenship given by yesteryear Congress leaders were now being fulfilled by Modi, invoking the names of India's first Prime Minister Nehru, first Home Minister Sardar Patel, and first President Rajendra Prasad.

"After Modi became the Prime Minister for the second time, he solved problems that had stood for 70 years in India," claimed the senior BJP leader.

According to Shah, Pakistan and Bangladesh had 30 per cent Hindus who now were reduced down to 3 per cent and 7 per cent respectively.

"I want to ask the protesters where did these minorities go? Can any of them answer," posed Shah.

The BJP aims to touch three crore people through its outreach programme Jan Jagran Abhiyan, with over 250 rallies across the country, including press conferences and others.

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