Convenient Silence, Threats of Action, Censure of Urban Naxals: BJP Leaders on CAA Protest

A day after nationwide protests, Karnataka minister C.T. Ravi warned that a ‘Godhra-like’ situation could arise if the majority “loses patience”.

New Delhi: As spontaneous protests erupted across the country in opposition to the Citizenship Amendment Act, several high ranking members of the cabinet chose to remain tight-lipped about the demonstrations which have so far claimed three lives and led to the detention of hundreds in Delhi and Bengaluru.

Prime Minister Modi maintained convenient silence on the protests that raged across several cities and instead tweeted about his meeting with the Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa and the National Committee for Commemoration of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

The BJP’s official Twitter handle also tweeted a video of residents of Delhi who narrated the “horrors of riots during CAA protests”

A few days before, the Prime Minister at a rally in Dumka, Jharkhand ahead of the upcoming polls, had tried to paint the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act in communal hues by suggesting that those who were protesting against the new Act could be “identified by their clothes”.

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Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath told ANI that the government would “take strict action against such elements” and would “seize property of those found guilty”.

His remarks came after the Uttar Pradesh police claimed that violent demonstrations in different parts of the country against the amended citizenship law had prompted it to deny permission to hold protests in the state. It issued prohibitory orders in the entire state.

National joint secretary of the BJP Shivprakash tweeted that “violent opposition to the Citizenship Amendment Act” had “incorporated anti-national forces into these protests”.

As protests over Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) deepened and more University campuses lent their weight behind it, the government has reached out to calm the frayed tempers, saying it has no problem in talking to those who have concerns but will not engage with politicians fanning it or “tukde tukde gang”.

Union minister Prakash Javadekar said that the Congress and AAP were in favour of foreign infiltrators and claimed that “rumours are being spread over CAA and people are being misled.”

Law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, “We are ready to talk to the protestors and students. But we will not talk to tukde tukde gang and urban naxals, who pursue politics of violence. They will be dealt with as per law. Those who engage in violence will be dealt with accordingly.”

In the aftermath of the protests, Union minister Nitin Gadkari attempted to justify the grounds for enacting the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 by saying that the law was necessary as no country in the world catered specifically to the need of the Hindus. “However, let me make it clear we will not allow any illegal foreigner to settle in the country. Our country is not a dharmshala. You say countries like US, UK are liberal…can anyone get citizenship in those countries easily?” Gadkari added.

A day after protests, Karnataka minister C.T. Ravi warned that a ‘Godhra-like’ situation could arise if the majority “loses patience”.

“Because the majority community here is patient, you are trying to put fire everywhere. I advice you to look back and see what happens when our patience runs out. Our patience is not weakness. We are also seeing how you are damaging public property and putting fire in the State,” Ravi said in response to former minister and Congress leader U.T. Khader’s statement that Karnataka would burn if the Citizenship (Amendment) Act was implemented.

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On Thursday, Union home minister Amit Shah attended the 56th Anniversary Parade of the Sashastra Seema Bal.

A day before, Shah had tried to pin the blame for the protests on the Congress party and said, “One hundred per cent Congress is behind these protests.”

Union minister Smriti Irani asked state governments to “take the strictest action” against people who were supporting “violent elements”.

Karnataka chief minister B.S. Yediyurappa asked people in to “stay away from vested interests”.

Among others who have commented on the protests are BJP’s ‘IT cell’ head Amit Malviya, who has speculated on the professional futures of the protesters and shared several inflammatory videos.