UNION Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Sunday vowed tough action against “sponsored” protests in view of the Citizenship Amendment Act and proposed nationwide NRC, which he claimed were being supported by the “tukde tukde gang” and “urban Naxals”.
Addressing a press conference here, Prasad who holds the portfolio of law and justice accused the Congress of hypocrisy and adopting double standards for “vote bank politics” on the issue, even as he dismissed suggestions for wider consultation within the NDA over the matter.
“We are in touch with the top leadership of all NDA constituents. What party spokespersons say is not of much consequence,” Prasad said. He was replying to a query about a statement by K C Tyagi, general secretary and chief spokesperson of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s JD(U), who had advocated a meeting of the BJP-led coalition over NRC.
Without naming anybody, Prasad took exception to statements by several Chief Ministers, including Kumar, who have announced that NRC will not be implemented in their respective States. “Is this how a country can be run? Let things not come to a pass when States might start thwarting legal action against a criminal taking shelter after having committed offence elsewhere,” the Minister said.
Coming down heavily on the Congress, the senior BJP leader recounted Tamil refugees from Sri Lanka having been granted citizenship during Rajiv Gandhi’s tenure, and how the same favour was extended, earlier, to “Hindus” driven out of Idi Amin’s Yuganda and those persecuted by Pakistani military during the Bangladesh Liberation War.
“As recently as in 2003, the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had advocated granting citizenship to persecuted minorities in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. Letters were written to him endorsing the same by the then Rajasthan and Assam Chief Ministers Ashok Gehlot and Tarun Gogoi,” Prasad said. “So, precisely, it all boils down to Congress being okay with steps taken or stance adopted by its own leaders but has a problem when the same is done by PM Narendra Modi. Rahul Gandhi is tossing questions at the Government. Why does he not do some home-work and question his own party leaders instead?