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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Wednesday, 01 April 2020 8.01 AM IST

BJP digs out old video of Manmohan Singh speaking in favour of citizenship for minorities in 2003

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NEW DELHI: Amid nationwide protests against the Citizenship Act, an old video of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh speaking in support of citizenship to minorities from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh - as the new law promises - was circulated by BJP leaders on Thursday.

The BJP released archive footage from parliament in 2003 of Manmohan Singh speaking in the Rajya Sabha, apparently on the citizenship law.

"In 2003, speaking in Rajya Sabha, Dr Manmohan Singh, then Leader of Opposition, asked for a liberal approach to granting citizenship to minorities, who are facing persecution, in neighbouring countries such as Bangladesh and Pakistan. Citizenship Amendment Act does just that..." the BJP tweeted along with the video.

Dr Singh is heard saying: "While I am on this subject, Madam, I would like to say something, about the treatment of refugees. After the partition of our country, the minorities in countries like Bangladesh, have faced persecution, and it is our moral obligation that if circumstances force people, these unfortunate people, to seek refuge in our country, our approach to granting citizenship to these unfortunate persons should be more liberal."

Senior BJP leader LK Advani, then Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister, was seated in the government benches. "I sincerely hope that the honourable Deputy Prime Minister will bear this in mind in charting out the future course of action with regard to the Citizenship Act," Dr Singh said.

The BJP used that video to call out the Congress, which is aggressively protesting against the citizenship law; a Congress leader has even petitioned against it in the Supreme Court.

"In 2003, speaking in Rajya Sabha, Dr Manmohan Singh, then Leader of Opposition, asked for a liberal approach to granting citizenship to minorities, who are facing persecution, in neighbouring countries such as Bangladesh and Pakistan. Citizenship Amendment Act does just that...," the BJP's IT cell in-charge Amit Malviya tweeted.

Massive protests have erupted in parts of the country against the new citizenship law that allows non-Muslims from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan to easily become Indian citizens. The exclusion of Muslims, say political parties and activists, is discriminatory and violates the principles of equality and secularism in the constitution.


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TAGS: MANMOHAN SINGH SPEECH IN PARLIAMENT IN 2003, BJP DIGS OUT OLD VIDEO OF MANMOHAN SINGH, CITIZENSHIP ACT, CRB, CAA PROTEST
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