The BJP on Friday invoked Mahatma Gandhi to defend the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), claiming that the Father of the Nation had said if Sikhs and Hindus living as minority in Pakistan want to return to India, the country would welcome them and fulfil their primary needs.
Talking to reporters here, BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya also said that the Modi government was currently not considering to implement the National Register of Citizens (NRC) across the country.
However, he said that there was nothing wrong in implementing the NRC as it is just a "process of registering the citizens of the country".
"The prime minister himself has said that no decision has been taken by the Centre to implement the NRC across the country...But what is NRC? It is the process of registering the country's citizens. Why shouldn't it be implemented?" Vijayvargiya asked.
"We should know who is living in our country. This country is a not a dharmashala (charity shelter)," he said.
Hitting out at the opposition over the anti-CAA protests, he said it was part of their "dirty politics".
"What is against the Islam in the CAA? There is no threat to the citizenship of Indian Muslims by this law. But irresponsible opposition, including the Left parties, are spreading propaganda about the CAA under a conspiracy of their dirty politics and spreading chaos in the country," he said.
"After the Independence, Mahatma Gandhi himself had said that if Sikhs and Hindus living as a minority in Pakistan feel that they want to come to India, the country will not only welcome them, but also fulfil their primary needs, including employment," Vijayvargiya added.
Without naming the Congress, he said, "Some political parties only sought votes in the name of Mahatma Gandhi. But the leaders of our party (BJP) implemented what Mahatma Gandhi has said, whether it is through the Clean India campaign or the CAA," he said.
Under the CAA, people from Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities, who have come to India from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan till December 31, 2014 owing to their religious persecution there, will not be treated as illegal immigrants and will be given Indian citizenship.
Responding to a query, Vijayvargiya said, "Do you agree with the suggestion that Rohingya Muslims should be allowed to live in our country?"
When asked about the booklet distributed at a camp of Congress-affiliated Seva Dal in Madhya Pradesh on Thursday, which questioned the credentials of Hindutva ideologue Veer Savarkar as a patriot, he said, "If someone spits towards the sky, it will fall on his face. The Congress' comments will not affect the reputation of a patriot like Savarkar, but it will definitely expose the Congress.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)