Citizenship law: Modi accuses rivals of spreading misinformation
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) is not aimed at taking away anyone's citizenship but giving citizenship and accused the opposition parties of spreading misinformation about the new law.
"I want to make it clear that the new citizenship law is not about taking away anybody's citizenship but to give citizenship," Modi said at a meeting with youths at the Belur Math, the global headquarters of Ramakrishna Mission in Howrah district near Kolkata, reports our new Delhi correspondent.
Modi said the government has ensured that CAA does not affect the interests of the people of the north eastern states.
Modi said the youth might understand the CAA but those who want to indulge in politics over it would not.
"The youths are being misguided by rumours about the new citizenship law," he added as protests by pro-Left students unions activists raged in central Kolkata against the visit of Modi who reached Kolkata yesterday evening.
The CAA, passed by parliament in December, has sparked countrywide protests by its opponents who term it "divisive" and "against the secular" constitution of India.
The new law offers Indian citizenship to religious minorities from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan who took shelter in India till 2014 to escape "persecution" in the three countries.
Modi said the energy of the youth will form the basis of change in the 21s century.
Modi paid tributes to Swami Vivekananda on his birth anniversary at the Belur Math and became the first Prime Minister to stay overnight at the Math. He woke up early today, visiting the temple of Swami Vivekananda and offering prayers at the main temple building to Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa.
Swami Vivekananda's birth anniversary is also marked as the National Youth Day.
"My best wishes to you all on Swami Vivekananda's birth anniversary... I'm grateful to the Math's president and the seers for letting me stay with them last night. Belur Math is no less than a pilgrimage, but for me it is always like a homecoming."
The prime minister was received by senior monks of the order after he reached Belur Math on Saturday evening, taking the Ganges river route from Kolkata.