BJP leader and Netaji's nephew Chandra Bose wants Muslims included in CAA
Kolkata: An "atmosphere of fear" is being created by both the ruling and opposition parties over the new citizenship law, West Bengal BJP vice president Chandra Bose said on Monday, and urged the Centre to grant citizenship even to Muslims under the amended citizensip act.
He also said the government should issue a written clarification on the issue.
"An atmosphere of fear is being created on the issue of citizenship. This applies to both the ruling party and the opposition parties.
"Just because it (the law) has been passed by Parliament, it can't be used to bulldoze people by ignoring the protests. The same applies to opposition parties which are deliberately misleading the masses," He said.
Bose, a grandnephew of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah have categorically noted the Citizenship (Amendment) Act is not based on religion.
However, statements made by some other leaders are creating confusion.
"In order to deal with this, I think that this clause should be included (in the new law) that the CAA is not based on religion....and Muslims should also be included in it," he said.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Act aims to provide Indian citizenship to Hindus, Jains, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis who entered India on or before December 31, 2014 from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan, having fled religious persecution in their countries.
"Now what will happens to the Muslims who had come to this country before that date? There is a confusion. The Centre must take steps to remove that confusion," Bose said.
A few state BJP leaders declined to comment on Bose's statements. Bose had pitched for the inclusion of Muslims in the CAA earlier also.
"If CAA, 2019 is not related to any religion why are we stating Hindu, Sikh, Buddhists, Christians, Parsis and Jains only! Why not include Muslims as well? Lets be transparent," he had tweeted last month.
"Don't equate India or compare it with any other nation - as it's a nation Open to all religions and communities," he had said in another tweet. West Bengal has been witnessing relentless protests over the CAA, a pan-India NRC and the updation of the National Population Register, with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee leading the charge against the government on these livewire issues.
The protests, though initially very violent, have acquired a somewhat milder tone but are continuing. Scuffles have been reported from several campuses including the prestigious Jadavpur University and Visva Bharati.