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Citizenship Amendment Bill an attempt by govt to distract people from its failures on NRC, economy: Congress

Congress leader Gaurav Gogoi said the bill is in violation of many articles of the Constitution and the basic spirit of the Preamble which talks of equality, liberty and fraternity. Claiming that the BJP is "digging a political graveyard" for its NDA allies from northeastern states, Gogoi appealed to those parties to vote with their conscience.

PTI|
Dec 09, 2019, 11.09 PM IST
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PTI
Gaurav-Gogoi-PTI
"Any bill, which seeks to erode the values of the Constitution, seeks to erode the foundations of our country, seeks to weaken our country, the Congress Party will oppose any such attempt," Gogoi said.
NEW DELHI: Claiming that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill seeks to "weaken the country", the Congress on Monday alleged the legislation has been brought in to distract people from the failures of the BJP-led government on NRC and the economic front.

Congress leader Gaurav Gogoi said the bill is in violation of many articles of the Constitution and the basic spirit of the Preamble which talks of equality, liberty and fraternity.

Claiming that the BJP is "digging a political graveyard" for its NDA allies from northeastern states, Gogoi appealed to those parties to vote with their conscience and not vote according to political compulsions in Parliament.

"I am saying, there are political compulsions of these regional parties and it is a test in time that their vote on this bill will go down in history and people will remember them for that. They don't understand that BJP is digging a political graveyard for these parties," he said.

Asked will the Congress challenge the bill in Supreme Court, he said, "I am sure if this bill is passed, there are some in the Congress party who are itching to challenge this in the court."

"This bill is nothing but an exercise to distract from the failure of the BJP (government) with respect to the NRC in Assam where around 19 lakh people have been excluded and many of them seem to be genuine Indians," Gogoi said.

He also claimed that it is an attempt to divert attention from the economic failures.

"It seems that the the NRC was nothing but a political exercise for the BJP because when 40 lakh were excluded, Home Minister Amit Shah jumped and termed them infiltrators. Many of them turned out to be Indians," Gogoi said.

"The home minister should first apologise to the people of the Gorkha community whom he called infiltrators," he said.

These Gorkhas have protected India's borders, "our original cow protectors", and yet they have been termed as 'ghuspethiayas (infiltrators) in their own country, he said.

"People from Bihar, Bengal, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh have migrated some generations ago and have now been called 'ghuspethias'. They deserve an apology from the home minister," he said.

"Any bill, which seeks to erode the values of the Constitution, seeks to erode the foundations of our country, seeks to weaken our country, the Congress Party will oppose any such attempt," Gogoi said.

This bill seeks to open the wounds of the northeast, which in the past, has been divided on ethnic, religious and linguistic lines, he said.

"Because of this past, many years of development was lost by the northeast and today after having reached a sense of stability, this bill again threatens to open hostilities of ethnicity tribal versus non-tribal, linguistic and religious differences," he alleged.

"This bill is a symbol of the dictatorial attitude of the BJP. If they care about the people and the sentiments of the northeast, then they would not have brought this bill and bulldozed it in such a fashion," Gogoi said.

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