On Tuesday, a video of AIADMK Labour Minister Nilofer Kafeel addressing members of her community in Dharmapuri district, was shared widely on social media. As residents of the state threw a volley of worried questions at her, the Minister attempted to assuage their fears regarding the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register for Citizens.
One Muslim resident asks the Minister- "Those who are poor don't have records or documents. If government asks, how will they prove anything? "
She immediately claimed that a ration card or Aadhar card would serve as a mark of citizenship. However, with reports suggesting that Aadhaar, voter ID card and passport are not citizenship documents, her audience remained unconvinced.
And talking to TNM on Wednesday, the Minister who is the only Muslim in the cabinet, admits that she is 'scared'.
"I am scared. I can't deny it. I am also a Muslim and from the same community," she says. "Everyone is scared about what documents we will need," she explains.
The minister says, she was trying to calm the residents and console her 'Muslim sisters' ay Dharmapuri. She further reveals that she met Chief Minister Edappadi Palanisami with her concerns.
"I spoke to the CM about the issues and he asked why I was scared and promised to look into it," she says.
But wasn't it the AIADMK with 11 MPs in the Rajya Sabha that ensured the safe passage of the bill? The Chief Minister had infact supported the Act even when questioned about the decision by the media.
"When I spoke to him, the CM said 'I won't let Tamil Nadu go like that'. He was very soothing and I believe my party leader 100%," she maintains.
When asked about the protests across the country over CAA and NRC, she says it is only a way for her community and others to express their thoughts.
"I can only talk for Tamil Nadu and from what I see, people are fighting for their rights. As far as Vellore is concerned, the Jamaat has led protests and they have been very peaceful," she says. "It is not about any party - the AIADMK, DMK or PMK. We are only asking for our rights."