Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Saturday said that the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) will disturb and hurt religious, social unity and harmony in the country.
Sharad Pawar said, “Not just minorities, but those who think about country’s unity and progress are opposing CAA and NRC [National Register of Citizens].”
“CAA and NRC are attempts to divert attention from serious issues the country is facing,” Sharad Pawar said.
Sharad Pawar even questioned why only migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan are allowed citizenship under the new Act but not Sri Lankan Tamils.
Earlier, Sharad Pawar, when asked about the growing opposition to the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), had said: “It was expected that the unrest would remain confined to certain states”. Contrary to the BJP’s expectation that the new law will be welcomed in certain states, it is being opposed in the party-ruled Assam as well, a media report quoted him as saying.
The NCP is among other Opposition parties which have dubbed the Citizenship (Amendment) Act “unconstitutional and discriminatory”.
The new law has triggered nationwide protests, with several activists, students and lakhs of other citizens coming out on streets raising slogans against the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government. Protests in few states are peaceful, however, in several other parts of countries, the demonstrations have turned violent.
Many are opposing the Citizenship Act since it gives citizenship to six persecuted minorities — Sikhs, Buddhists, Christians, Parsis, Hindus and Jains — but not Muslims — who entered India from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, the northeastern states are protesting against the law since they fear that the arrival of people from the three countries would severely impact their culture and language.