New Delhi, Jan 11 : “Citizenship (Amendment) Act is a “discriminatory and divisive” law whose “sinister” purpose was to divide people on religious lines, and asserted that the NPR in form and content was “disguised NRC”, said Sonia Gandhi while addressing Congress Working Committee (CWC) on Saturday.
The CWC met here on Saturday to deliberate on issues such as the amended citizenship law, the proposed nationwide implementation of the National Population Register (NPR), followed by the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and violence on university campuses, including the recent one at Jawaharlal Nehru University.
Gandhi said NPR is a benign exercise, adding that in form and content, it is a “disguised NRC”. “As a party in government in several states, we must take a wise and uniform decision on NPR,” she said.
The Congress chief said thousands of young men and women, especially students, have realised the “grave harm” that implementation of the new Citizenship law will cause.
“They have taken to the streets braving the cold as well as police brutalities, I salute the students’ courage. As the students’ protests gain momentum, it is clear that the government is digging in its heels. Not a day passes without the Home Minister (Amit Shah), and on some days, the Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) himself, making provocative statements, “she said.
“Congress workers will stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of India in their struggle for equality, equal protection of the laws, justice and dignity. We are appalled by the police excesses and use of brute force in many towns of Uttar Pradesh, in universities like Jamia Millia, JNU, BHU and Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru,” she added.
“We demand that a comprehensive high-powered commission be constituted to inquire into the incidents connected with the anti-CAA protests and give justice to the affected persons,” she said.
Gandhi also hit out at the government over the state of the economy, which has been on a downfall for a while now, and the situation in Jammu and Kashmir.
“It seems to me that the government has neither the wisdom nor the will to take measures to stop the downslide in the economy which is causing untold misery to practically all sections of society,” Gandhi said.
Regarding the people of Jammu and Kashmir which was stripped of its special status by the Centre in August last year, she said, “It is a matter of anguish and concern that the people in Jammu & Kashmir continue to be denied their fundamental rights, while the government makes farcical claims of normalcy and arranges guided tours of diplomats.”
The meeting held at the party’s Akbar Road headquarters in the national capital was attended by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, top party leaders P Chidambaram, Anand Sharma, AK Antony, KC Venugopal, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Jyotiraditya Scindia.
(With inputs from PTI)