Amid bickering between leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party and Janata Dal (United) in Bihar, BJP president Amit Shah on Thursday said the alliance of the two parties was “unbreakable” and they will contest the Assembly election this year under the leadership of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
His remarks came amid reports of BJP and JD(U) leaders attacking each other on several issues, the chief among them being the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and a proposed pan-India National Register of Citizens (NRC).
“Some people want to spread rumours. I have come here to put an end to all rumours. The NDA will contest elections under the leadership of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar in Bihar. The alliance of BJP and JDU is unbreakable. There can be no break up,” Shah said at a public rally in Vaishali, held in support of the CAA.
The Union Home Minister also urged Muslims to read about the CAA as the new law is “not meant to take away anyone’s citizenship.”
“I’ve come here to tell the Muslim brothers to read the Citizenship Amendment Act. I’ve also come to tell Rahul baba (Congress MP Rahul Gandhi) and Lalu Prasad Yadav (RJD chief) to not mislead the people,” he said, advising Mamata Banerjee and Arvind Kejriwal to do the same.
Shah said there were 33% minorities in East and West Pakistan at the time of the Independence but they were repressed and forcibly converted.
Why the opposition is against giving citizenship to such oppressed people, Shah questioned.
The new law promises citizenship to members of 6 non-Muslim communities from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh who entered India before December 31, 2014. Massive protests have erupted across the country against the new law.
Critics say that the new law is against the secular nature of the Indian Constitution and clubbed with the NRC may be misused to strip away some Muslims’ citizenship in the country. The BJP, however, has argued that the law has nothing to do with India’s Muslims and only helps those who fled religious persecution in the neighbouring countries.
While there is no direct opposition to the CAA in Bihar, D(U) vice president Prashant Kishor has claimed that combined with the NRC, it can become lethal for Muslims.
His constant assertion that CAA-NRC will not be implemented in Bihar has put in crosshairs of BJP leaders.
Kishor also said last month that BJP should reconsider its position on the seat-sharing issue for the upcoming assembly elections in Bihar which is scheduled to take place in 2020.
“As far as my understanding is concerned, it (the seat share) should be one is to 1.4 as it was the practice in 2009 and 2010 assembly elections,” the election-strategist-turned-politician said.