Congress: Will fight for India with all our might
The Congress on Tuesday said the purpose of the abnormal thrust on contentious issues was to divert the nation’s attention from the grim crises on the economy, agriculture and employment fronts, as the party prepared to put up stiff resistance to the “unconstitutionality” caused by the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill-NRC combine.
While Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra accused the government of destroying India, the Youth Congress declared that it would not submit to the “immoral act” that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB), passed in the Lok Sabha on Monday, combined with the National Register of Citizens (NRC) could entail.
Running a social media campaign under the hashtag #CABNRCSatyagrah, the Indian Youth Congress tweeted: “Leaders of the IYC refuse to submit to this immoral act by not submitting the requisite documents needed to prove citizenship. We will follow the path of satyagrah to stand along with our brothers and sisters rather than be a mute spectator to their disenfranchisement.”
Youth Congress chief B.V. Srinivas also tweeted the same pledge along with hundreds of members across the country.
Wayanad MP Rahul tweeted in the morning: “The CAB is an attack on the Indian Constitution. Anyone who supports it is attacking and attempting to destroy the foundation of our nation.”
Priyanka, who usually does not comment on issues that aren’t related to her political responsibility in Uttar Pradesh, tweeted: “Last night at midnight, India’s tryst with bigotry and narrow-minded exclusion was confirmed as the CAB was passed in the Lok Sabha.”
She added: “Our forefathers gave their lifeblood for our freedom. In that freedom is enshrined the right to equality, and the right to freedom of religion. Our Constitution, our citizenship, our dreams of a strong and unified India belong to ALL of us. We will fight against this government’s agenda to systematically destroy our Constitution and undo the fundamental premise on which our country was built with all our might.”
While the Congress high command has instructed the state units to hold demonstrations in every district against the CAB-NRC, Priyanka, who is the general secretary in charge of Uttar Pradesh, wrote a detailed letter to the workers asking them to gear up for a prolonged battle to save the Constitution.
“The Constitution is being sought to be replaced by the RSS vision. If the Constitution is diluted, every single citizen, from every religion and caste, will get affected. Time to come to the streets to save India,” she wrote.
Former home minister P. Chidambaram tweeted: “The CAB is unconstitutional. Parliament passes a bill that is patently unconstitutional and the battleground shifts to the Supreme Court. Elected parliamentarians are abdicating their responsibilities in favour of lawyers and judges! That is the price we pay for giving a party a brute majority that it uses to trample over the wishes of the states and the people.”
Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari told a media conference that citizenship on the basis of religion was a “fraud on the Constitution”.
“Our fundamental objection is that it violates the spirit of the Constitution. A comprehensive law is needed both on refugees and illegal immigrants,” he said.
Tewari advised home minister Amit Shah to study India’s history properly instead of “misleading” the nation on vital issues.
“The sole purpose of bringing such contentious legislation is to divert attention from the economy, unemployment and agrarian distress. Their purpose is to polarise people on religious lines, generate bitterness in the society and create social unrest,” Tewari added.
Congress leaders and economists have also been pointing out that social unrest will adversely affect the economy as peace is an imperative for business, against the backdrop of protests that have broken out in the Northeast.
“The home minister yesterday made a very objectionable and baseless statement that the Congress supported the two-nation theory and was responsible for the Partition. It was the Hindu Mahasabha and the Muslim League that supported the two-nation theory,” Tewari said.
“One kind of communalism feeds another kind of communalism. The Hindu Mahasabha, including BJP icon Syama Prasad Mookerjee, participated in provincial governments formed by the Muslim League in Bengal, Sindh and the North-West Frontier Province,” the Congress spokesperson added.
Tewari dared the BJP leadership to a public debate on the Partition, saying: “The British colonial powers wanted to weaken the Congress and hence they promoted communal outfits like the Muslim League and the Hindu Mahasabha. The RSS had close links with the Hindu Mahasabha and V.D. Savarkar, who (first) proposed the two-nation theory. The BJP can tell us the venue and time, we will go there to debate the Partition and their role in the freedom struggle.”