Lucknow: Terming the Citizenship Amendment Act as “unconstitutional”, former Union Minister Yashwant Sinha on Monday said the “government with a 56-inch chest” will have to shed its arrogance on the new citizenship law and bend before the people who have been protesting against the law in large numbers across the country.
The former BJP leader also slammed Union Home Minister Amit Shah for his remarks that the government would not take the CAA back and people could do whatever they can.
“The Citizenship Amendment Act is against the basic structure of the Constitution. There was no need for this kind of amendment in the citizenship law as the Government of India already had the power to grant citizenship to anyone. This law cannot be implemented,” Sinha said at a press conference in Lucknow where Samajwadi Party chief and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav was also present.
Sinha said as per the previous law, India’s citizenship could be given to anyone just as it was given to, for example, (Congress president) Sonia Gandhi who was born in Italy and Pakistani singer Adnan Sami. “There was no need to amend the said law on a religious basis. This cannot be implemented. It is the government’s duty to reach out to people who have been protesting against the CAA, and resolve their problem and create an environment of peace in the country. The government with a 56-inch chest will have to bend before the people,” he said, taking a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s macho image who had once said that it took a “56-inch chest” to teach India’s enemies a lesson”.
Slamming Amit Shah’s remarks over the CAA, Sinha said, “The Union Home Minister gave a statement that he would not move an inch back on CAA. It is not a democratic statement. Does it behove a Home Minister to speak like this? The remark shows the arrogance of power.” Sinha alleged that all the BJP-led governments in the states are using “policy of suppression”.
“There is a suppression policy used by the governments in BJP-ruled states. Uttar Pradesh is being criticised the most. The CAA has been implemented here when the rules for the law are yet to be framed,” he said.
Expressing concerns over the worrisome state of the Indian economy, the former Union Finance Minister lambasted the Centre, saying that instead of finding solutions to rising unemployment, agrarian crisis and the declining economic growth, the government was busy using its energies on unnecessary issues.
He said the government could be using these issues to divert people’s attention from the “core issues”.
He said the Gandhi Sandesh Yatra, which was launched from Mumbai and arrived at Lucknow on Sunday, would reach Delhi’s Rajghat on January 30. However, the yatra will not be concluded there.
“On Jan 30, we will not conclude this movement. We will discuss and let you know about our further plans,” he said.