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HomeIndiaBJP always welcomes new allies, talks are on with Akali Dal: Amit...

BJP always welcomes new allies, talks are on with Akali Dal: Amit Shah

On the CAA, Shah said the law, enacted in 2019, will be implemented before the Lok Sabha polls after issuing the rules in this regard.

“Our Muslim brothers are being misled and instigated (against the CAA). The CAA is only meant to give citizenship to those who came to India after facing religious persecution in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. It is not for snatching anyone’s Indian citizenship,” he said.

To a query on a Uniform Civil Code, Shah said it is a constitutional agenda, signed by the country’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru and others.

“But the Congress had ignored it due to appeasement. The enforcement of the UCC in Uttarakhand is a social change. It will be discussed on all forums and face legal scrutiny. A secular country cannot have religion-based civil codes,” he said.

About the decision to confer the Bharat Ratna on Chaudhary Charan Singh, former prime minister PV Narasimha Rao and renowned agriculture scientist MS Swaminathan, Shah said all three persons were big institutions of their times.

“In Congress’ time, Bharat Ratna was given either due to compulsion or to the family,” he said.

To a query on some leaders, including Uddhav Thackeray, asking why Bharat Ratna was not being given to Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, Shah said: “We have taken note of their suggestion”.

The home minister, however, refused to comment on the issues of Gyanvapi mosque and the Shahi Idgah mosque complex in Mathura saying these were now subject matters of courts.

Asked about the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991, he said: “The Act is in its place”.

The law prohibits conversion of any place of worship and provides for the maintenance of the religious character of any place of worship as it existed on the 15th day of August 1947, excluding Ayodhya’s Ram Janmabhoomi complex.

There has been a demand from a section including some BJP leaders that the law should be scrapped.

Shah said it is very unfortunate that there is a debate on the caste of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and alleged that Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has a habit of telling lies publicly and repeating those thereafter.

Shah also said it was a Congress government in Gujarat that included Modi’s caste in the list of Other Backward Classes (OBC) in 1994 and the Centre included the prime minister’s caste in its OBC list in 2000.

“At that time also, Modi was not in a position of power – not an MP, not an MLA nor even a sarpanch. He became the chief minister in 2001.

These people have a habit of distorting facts,” Shah said.

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