Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Sunday launched the ruling BJP's outreach campaign in favour of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in Bengaluru.
"The CAA came into being after its amendment bill was passed in Parliament during its winter session with the support of major political parties. It is meant to give shelter and protection to Hindu minorities facing persecution in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. It does not take away any rights of Indians," Yediyurappa told residents on a door-to-door campaign in the city.
Accusing the opposition Congress of misleading the people on the CAA and inciting its protesters to indulge in violence, the chief minister said the Act does not cause any problem to all sections of Indians.
"There is no question of taking away anyone's citizenship, including that of Muslims, as the Act only facilitates the return of the Hindus persecuted in the neighbouring countries in the sub-continent," he asserted.
State deputy chief minister H.C. Ashwath Narayana and party's Bengaluru Central Lok Sabha member P.C. Mohan accompanied the chief minister on his outreach programme in some residential and commercial areas of the city.
As part of the nationwide campaign in favour the CAA, the party's state unit president Nalin Kumar Kateel and the state's dozen cabinet ministers led the campaign in other cities across the southern state.
"An awareness campaign will be peacefully held daily till January 15 across the state to counter the protests against it by students and other people at the behest of the Congress and Left parties," Kateel told reporters at Mangaluru, 350km southwest of Bengaluru.
Kateel is a BJP Lok Sabha member from the state's Dakshina Kannada seat.
Besides contacting the people directly at their doorstep through the party's leaders, cadres and supporters, the BJP is reaching all sections of society through social media and by holding pro-CAA rallies in all the 30-district headquarters across the state over the next 10 days.
"About 300 leaders and cadres of the party have fanned out in cities and towns across the state to explain the provisions of the CAA to the people and clarify their doubts, as the protesters were misleading them with wrong information about it," reiterated Kateel.
The CAA came into being after the President enacted the a law to give citizenship rights to Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Parsis and Christians who have been allegedly persecuted as minorities in Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan over the last seven decades.
"A deliberate misinformation campaign has been carried out against the CAA by vested interests, misguiding a section of college/university students, their faculty, activists and members of the minority community on its provisions so as to create unrest and trigger violence in the country," Ravikumar claimed.
The ruling party also held rallies and public meetings in major cities like Mysuru, Mangaluru, Hubballi, Belagavi, Bellary and Kalaburagi across the state and enlightened the people on the benefits of the CAA.
"As social media is all-pervasive with greater reach and better impact, we are also reaching about one crore people of all ages through Kannada, Hindi and English script, messages and audio/video clips in the state during the fortnight campaign," added Kateel.