The Bharatiya Janata Party on Sunday asserted that the Citizenship (Amendment) Act was brought in by the Narendra Modi government at the Centre out of "humanitarian considerations" and lambasted the opposition for "politicizing the issue". The party's national general secretary in-charge for Bihar and Rajya Sabha member Bhupendra Yadav also told reporters that denial of a scheduled meeting with Union Home Minister Amit Shah to a delegation of Shaheen Bagh protesters was "a decision taken by the administration and police in Delhi taking into account the situation on the ground".
He, however, declined to comment on a video purportedly a two-month-old CCTV footage - viral on social media wherein police personnel can be seen storming a library inside the Jamia Millia Islamia and baton charging the students engrossed in books.
"I am not sure about the authenticity of the video and hence it would not be proper for me to comment on it," Yadav said.
The BJP leader was here to take part in a meeting of the party's office-bearers in Bihar which was attended, among others, by state unit chief Sanjay Jaiswal and the latter's predecessor and Union minister Nityanand Rai.
"I must say that the CAA was a decision taken out of humanitarian considerations (maanavata ke aadhar par). It is deplorable that the opposition has politicized the issue to the hilt," said Yadav whose party is facing the heat of country-wide protests against the contentious legislation as well as the NPR which many fear would be followed by country-wide implementation of NRC despite statements to the contrary
by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"It is about granting citizenship to people, not snatching it away from anybody," said the BJP leader about the law that aims to provide Indian citizenship to Hindus, Jains, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, and Parsis who entered India on or before December 31, 2014, from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, having fled religious persecution in their countries.
Yadav also disclosed that BJP president Jagat Prakash Nadda will be here on February 22 to give a pep talk to workers of the party ahead of the assembly polls due later this year.
"Nadda will inaugurate 11 newly-constructed district-level offices of the party during his visit. These offices will serve as centres for training party workers and dissemination of the party's literature," he said.
The function will be followed by a meeting of the party's core committee where the strategy for ensuring the victory of the NDA in Bihar, under the leadership of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, will be chalked out, the BJP leader said.
This will be Nadda's first tour of Patna after becoming the party chief. He last came here in November while he was the working president of the BJP during which he addressed party workers, recalled his close ties with the city where he was born and brought up, and met Nitish Kumar, who heads the JD(U), assuring him full cooperation from the Centre in running the state government.
Yadav also said, "We are also working to strengthen our party in Bihar, especially in rural areas. On April 6, when we celebrate the party's foundation day, we plan to hold functions in all Panchayats of the state."