Bahujan Samajwadi Party supremo Mayawati on Wednesday said her party is ready for a debate on the CAA on any platform, a day after Union Home Minister Amit Shah threw a challenge to the Opposition.
Addressing a rally in support of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) here on Tuesday, Shah had dared, besides Mayawati, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee and Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav to a debate with him on the law on a ‘sarvjanik manch’ (public platform).
“The BSP is ready to accept the challenge thrown by the central government, which is troubled by the organised struggle and agitation all over the country against the most controversial CAA/NRC/NPR, especially by the youth and women, for a debate on the issue on any platform and anywhere,” Mayawati said in a tweet in Hindi.
According to the CAA, members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan till December 31, 2014, to escape religious persecution there will not be treated as illegal immigrants but given Indian citizenship.
It does not include Muslims.
Those opposing the CAA contend that it discriminates on the basis of religion and violates the Constitution. They also allege that the CAA along with the National Register of Citizens (NRC) is intended to target the Muslim community in India.
However, the central government has dismissed the allegations, maintaining that the law is intended to give citizenship to the persecuted minorities from the three neighbouring countries and not to take away anyone’s citizenship.