CAA Row: Amit Shah Explains Why Muslims Are Not Eligible; Slams Kejriwal For Opposing CAA

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday answered why the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, allows Parsis and Christians to apply for Indian Citizenship but not Muslims. In an interview, Shah also took a dig at Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal for opposing CAA.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah | Photo: PTI

Amid the escalating protests across the nation against the implementation of the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), Union Home Minister Amit Shah today came up with an explanation on why Muslims are ineligible to obtain Indian citizenship while Parsis and Christians are allowed to apply.

The CAA aims to provide citizenship to persecuted minorities from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh who arrived in India before December 31, 2014.

What did Amit Shah say?

When asked about excluding the Muslims while welcoming the Parsis and Christians, Shah said, "Hindus accounted for 23 percent of Pakistan's population at the time of Partition. Now it is down to 3.7 per cent. Where did they go? These many people did not come here. Forced conversion took place, they were humiliated, treated as second-class citizens. Where will they go? Shouldn't our Parliament and political parties take a decision on this?"

He said Hindus accounted for 22 per cent of Bangladesh's population in 1951.

"In 2011, this reduced to 10 per cent. Where did they go?"

"Afghanistan had about 2 lakh Sikhs and Hindus in 1992. Now, 500 are left. Don't they have the right to live according to their (religious) beliefs? When Bharat was one, they were ours. They are our brothers and sisters and mothers," he said.

"That (area) is not a part of India today because of a Muslim population. It was given for them. I believe it is our moral and Constitutional responsibility to give shelter to those who were part of Akhand Bharat and suffered religious persecution," he replied.

The concept of 'Akhand Bharat' includes modern-day Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Myanmar, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Tibet.

Commenting on the persecuted Muslim communities including Shia, Baloch and Ahmadiyya Muslims, he said, "The world over, this bloc is considered a Muslim bloc. Also, even Muslims can apply for citizenship here. The Constitution has a provision. They can apply and the Indian government will take a decision, keeping national security and other factors in mind."

When asked what about those without any official documents at all, Mr Shah said, "We will find a solution for those who do not have documents. But as per my estimates, more than 85 percent of them have documents."

Amit Shah slams Kejriwal

Slamming Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal for opposing CAA, Amit Shah on Thursday alleged that Kejriwal had lost his calm ("aapa kho baithe hain")

According to Shah, Kejriwal's reaction against implementation of CAA stemmed from his party's alleged exposure in corruption cases and said if he is concerned about national security that he must talk about Bangladeshi infiltrators.

Strongly opposing the implementation of CAA, earlier this week Kejriwal stated that more migration would now take place than what happened after independence.

Citing the possibility of collapsed law and order in the country, he said the implementation of the CAA ahead of the Lok Sabha elections was a "dirty vote bank politics" of the BJP and asserted that people want this law to be repealed.

"There are 3.5 crore minorities in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. The BJP wants to spend the money of our people in settling poor migrants from Pakistan and Bangladesh by giving them houses and jobs here," Arvind Kejriwal said.

Responding to the charges, Amit Shah said, “He (Kejriwal) is unaware that all these people have already taken refuge in our country. They are living in India. Those who arrived in our country by 2014 will get citizenship.”

"And if he is concerned, why does he not talk about Bangladeshi infiltrators? Why does he not protest against Rohingyas? It is because they are doing vote-bank politics. He will face a very tough time during elections in Delhi that is why he is doing vote-bank politics. Are Rohingyas and Bangladeshi infiltrators not taking our jobs? He is just raising his voice against minorities of Jains, Buddhists, and Parsis," the home minister further said.

"He will have to face great difficulty in the Delhi elections. Are Rohingyas and Bangladeshi infiltrators not taking our jobs? He is just raising his voice against minorities of Jains, Buddhists, and Parsis," Amit Shah added.

Amit Shah further said that leaders like Arvind Kejriwal have no sympathy for those who came here after being persecuted in their countries.