Even while many citizen groups, students and political parties are holding agitations all across the country against Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) - the country’s ruling party, the BJP, is planning on similar gatherings in support of the CAA.
The BJP has been trying to quell the widespread protests against the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests, not just by taking action against protesters, but also by holding simultaneous gatherings and rallies showing support to the Bill.
The BJP has planned more nationwide pro-CAA rallies from January 5, 2020, to January 15, 2020, to 'bring about awareness over this Act'. The pro-CAA campaign was decided upon at a meeting of senior leaders of BJP held earlier this week. Union Home Minister Amit Shah will kick-off the public awareness campaign and BJP Working President JP Nadda along, with 50 senior leaders of the party, will take up the campaign in various cities of India.
In Tamil Nadu, BJP sources have told TOI that rallies will be held in Chennai and Madurai during the second week of January. The party has in fact appointed a 16-member team to monitor these pro-CAA campaigns. According to reports, from Tamil Nadu National secretary H Raja and IT wing state president C T R Nirmal Kumar are part of the team.
In Karnataka, the rallies will be held between January 1 and 15. Mega rallies and public meetings will be held in major cities like Bengaluru, Mysuru, Mangaluru, Hubballi, Belagavi, Bellary and Kalaburagi across the state and enlighten the people on the benefits of the CAA.
According to reports, the BJP is planning on meeting three crore families during the campaign and is planning to seek around one crore letters in favour of the CAA, for which the party will reach out to various sections of society. The party has also decided that separate teams will meet intellectuals, Dalits, holy-men, minorities etc. to make them aware of the CAA.
The party is also planning to rope in the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
Interestingly, during his Ramlila Maidan speech, PM Narendra Modi had downplayed the protests that were happening across the country and had said that Congress and some educated 'Urban Naxals' were trying to mislead the public on the CAA as well as the National Register of Citizens. Though he did not speak about the protesters who lost their lives in police firing, the PM focussed on the alleged violence against police and damage to public property by protesters.
Emphasising that critics must respect the Parliament's decision, he maintained that his government does not discriminate against residents on the basis of religion. “I want to tell the 130 crore citizens of India that since my government has come to power, since 2014, there has been no discussion on NRC anywhere. Only after the SC order, this exercise was done for Assam. Lies are being spread,” PM had said.
(With inputs from IANS)