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Citizenship Act amended to distract people from economic slowdown: Kamal Nath

Madhya Pradesh, Chief Minister Kamal Nath -PTI

Madhya Pradesh, Chief Minister Kamal Nath -PTI

New Delhi, Dec 13: In a clear indication that he will not implement the citizenship law in Madhya Pradesh, Chief Minister Kamal Nath on Friday alleged the Union government was practising divisive politics and using the “politics of distractions” to divert attention from the country’s economic slowdown.

Addressing newspersons at the Indian Women’s Press Club, Nath said he was most worried about the future of the Indian youth, given the present economic state of the country.

“Anything that is divisive, we will not do it. The stand of the Congress in any law that divides society will be the stand of the MP government,” he said when asked if like West Bengal and Kerala, the MP government too would reject CAB.

He also said the correct protocol before introduction of CAB would have been to have a meeting of chief ministers with the government so that their objections and issues could be addressed.

“The worst part is the politics of distraction, changing the orbit of people’s imagination. Every time there is an economic slowdown, a bill is introduced, a decision is taken to distract people,” the Madhya Pradesh chief minister said.

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill was passed by Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, two days after Lok Sabha passed it. President Ram Nath Kovind gave his assent to the bill on Thursday, turning it into an Act.

According to the Act, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians who had come to India till Dec 31, 2014, from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan because of religious persecution will not be treated as illegal immigrants and be given Indian citizenship.

The Act says the non-Muslim refugees will be given Indian citizenship after their stay in India for five years, instead of the earlier requirement of 11 years.

The Act also proposes to give immunity to such refugees facing cases as illegal immigrants.

According to the legislation, it will not be applicable to the tribal areas of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura as included in the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution and in the areas covered under the Inner Line Permit, notified under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873.

Nath also said the changes being affected in the country were not “natural” but by “design”. He said the government was instilling values in society which are not the “ethos” of India.

Asked about the stability of his government, the CM said, “Madhya Pradesh is not Karnataka.”

“Before Karnataka, they had tried the same tricks of buying and selling MLAs, but they failed,” he said.

He denied there was any dissent within the Congress and said the party was very “cohesive.”

Asked about the Congress presidentship, Nath said when Sonia Gandhi was appointed Congress president, it was made amply clear that she was the “temporary” chief because of her ill health.

Speaking on the state of the Opposition, Nath said though there is little coordination between opposition parties but in the next few months, they have to form a common strategy.



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