Lok Sabha elections 2024: BJP won't let Congress touch CAA, no question of changing Constitution, says Amit Shah

23 April,2024 09:21 PM IST |  Akola  |  PTI

Amit Shah on Tuesday asserted as long as the BJP is around, it will not allow the Congress to touch the CAA and the Modi govt will never change the Constitution

Amit Shah. File Pic

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Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday said the Modi government will never change the Constitution or scrap reservations for Dalits, tribals and OBCs, and asserted as long as the BJP is around, it will not allow the Congress to touch the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

Shah noted the BJP-led government used its majority in Parliament to nullify Article 370 (which provided special status to J&K), end terrorism and ban the practice of instant triple talaq, and accused the opposition of creating a false narrative that the saffron party will change the Constitution if it wins more than 400 Lok Sabha seats.

Addressing an election rally in Akola in eastern Maharashtra in support of BJP candidate Anup Dhotre, the BJP stalwart accused the Congress and its allies of putting hurdles in the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya.

It was Prime Minister Narendra Modi who ensured that a grand and magnificent temple dedicated to Lord Ram was built in Ayodhya, he said.

Referring to the traditional 'Kavad Yatra' taken out annually in Akola by Lord Shiva devotees, Shah said likewise Modi has embarked on a journey for the country's development.

The BJP's star campaigner sought votes for a third term in office for Modi and said during his next tenure, India will become the third largest world economy, a status which will benefit all sections of society.

Shah attacked Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge over his statement questioning relevance of BJP leaders talking about the Article 370 revocation in states like Maharashtra and Rajasthan.

The Modi government, by removing Article 370, has integrated Jammu and Kashmir with the rest of the country, emphasised the home minister.

For 70 years, the Congress "pampered" Article 370 like an "illegitimate child" and it was Modi who repealed the decades-old constitutional measure in August 2019, he opined.

Further attacking the grand old party and NCP founder Sharad Pawar, who was a minister in the UPA government (2004-14), Shah stressed they failed to effectively tackle terrorism emanating from Pakistan due to vote-bank politics.

However, when Pulwama and Uri terror attacks took place, the BJP government launched surgical and airstrikes to counter terrorism and send out a strong message, noted the home minister.

Shah maintained the Congress wants to bring back Article 370 and restore the practice of instant triple talaq if they come back to power, but "we will not allow this to happen".

He lashed out at Congress leader and former Union minister P Chidambaram over his comments on revoking the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) if the opposition INDIA bloc assumes power.

"Chidambaram and the Congress party say they will scrap the CAA. However, as long as the BJP is around, it will not let the Congress even touch the CAA," Shah asserted.

The CAA, enacted by the BJP-led government in 2019, seeks to grant citizenship to persecuted non-Muslim immigrants, including Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis, and Christians, from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan who entered India before December 31, 2014.

Shah said the Modi government, on returning to office after the Lok Sabha polls, will bring citizens above 70 years under the ambit of the free health insurance cover of Rs 5 lakh and supply cooking gas cylinders directly to consumers.

The BJP leader alleged the Congress is spreading lies that the Modi government will scrap reservations for Dalits, tribals and OBCs in jobs and education if it comes back to power with 400-plus Lok Sabha seats.

The Modi government is in power for the last ten years, but it has used its parliamentary majority to repeal Article 370, counter terrorism, ban instant triple talaq and bring CAA, he maintained.

"The Modi government will never change the Constitution or scrap reservations for SCs/STs/OBCs," the BJP leader told the gathering in Akola, where voting will take place on April 26 in the second phase.

Shah lauded the 'Mahayuti' government in Maharashtra, saying they have done mega development works in the last few years.

He said the BJP, which is part of the ruling coalition in the state, is determined to increase irrigation facilities in Vidarbha.

Shah highlighted the Rs 89,000-crore Painganga interlinking project, which will bring about 4 lakh hectares of land in Nagpur, Wardha, Amravati, Yavatmal, Akola and Buldhana districts -- all located in Vidarbha -- under irrigation.

The BJP veteran asked former Union minister Sharad Pawar what the "Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan government" gave to Maharashtra during its 10-year rule.

The NDA government at the Centre gave Rs 7.14 lakh crore to Maharashtra in the last 10 years, while the Congress-headed dispensation provided only Rs 1.91 lakh crore to the state during its rule from 2004 to 2014, he added.

Shah targeted the opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA), which comprises the Congress, the Shiv Sena (UBT) and the NCP (SP), saying they cannot do any good for Maharashtra, and asked electors to vote for the BJP and bring it back to power at the Centre.

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