The Bharatiya Janata Party's working president JP Nadda said on Sunday, December 29, that the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) is meant for the upliftment of Dalits. His statement comes on a day when BJP launched a pan-India campaign to win the perception battle on CAA.
While addressing a conclave for BJP'S Delhi Unit at Talkatora stadium, Nadda said, "70 per cent of the beneficiaries of the CAA will be from Dalit community. Yet you have Dalit leaders presenting arguments against the Act. At least think before you talk."
Nadda also claimed that the reason for bringing the law is religious persecution and Pakistan not honouring Liyaqat-Nehru pact that talked about preserving the rights of minorities.
"We had declared ourselves secular but Pakistan had declared themselves as Islamic nation," he said. In fact, Nadda also called the partition as handiwork of the Congress and done on the basis of religion.
BJP's PR battle
While Anil Jain will be leading the party's charge in UP and Bihar - the two states that have seen major minority resentment towards the CAA - Avinash Rai has been entrusted with leading and coordinating the outreach programme in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Delhi.
Delhi, which will go to polls early next year, has witnessed large-scale violent protests, starting near Jamia Milia Islamia University. Since then, the national capital has been witnessing protests - virtually every day - either by student organisations or intellectuals.
Saroj Pandey will coordinate the party's CAA outreach in Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Goa and the Union Territories (UT) of Daman and Diu.
Suresh Bhatt will lead the programme in Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, and the UTs of Chandigarh and Jammu & Kashmir.
For the southern zone, the party has selected Ravindra Raju. He will coordinate with the media to organise press conferences, meetings and outreach to people in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, the Andamans, Puducherry and the Lakshadweep.
For the eastern belt, former Bengal BJP chief Rahul Sinha has been made in-charge of West Bengal, Odisha, Jharkhand and the northeast. He will be working in coordination with Himanta Biswa Sarma, Assam Minister of Health & Family Welfare, in the northeast.
That the BJP has decided to depute leaders even for smaller states/UTs, like Daman Diu, the Andamans and the Lakshadweep, shows the comprehensive and meticulous planning behind the outreach programme to convince people that the CAA is neither anti-minorities nor anti-Dalit, as is being spread by many.
(With inputs from IANS.)