The Indian National Congress has vehemently opposed the Citizenship Amendment Act with its leaders including Rahul Gandhi resorting to inciting violence with their provocative tweets and speeches. While the anti-CAA protests have greatly died down in the past week thanks to the BJP’s massive outreach programme, the support for the crucial Citizenship Amendment Act is increasing as people become more aware of the aspects of the CAA. As Congress’s massive disinformation campaign fails, the party has been dealt a body blow as four Congress leaders have quit the party over its opposition to the CAA.
Four Goa Congress leaders resigned from the party on Thursday to protest against its stand on the Citizenship Amendment Act and three of them later joined the BJP, ahead of the BJP’s rally in Goa.
Former Panaji Congress block committee president Prasad Amonkar, former block committee secretary Dinesh Kubal and former youth leader Shivraj Tarkar quit the party and joined the BJP as they voiced their support to the CAA. While Congress has been relentlessly trying to spread fear among the minorities over the CAA, it’s North Goa minority cell chief Javed Sheikh also quit the party over Congress’s opposition to the CAA.
“We resigned from the Congress because we oppose the wrong stand taken by it on the CAA and the National Register of Citizens. We found that Congress party was misguiding people, especially the minorities,” Amonkar alleged. Congress should stop “misleading people and creating fear in the minds of minorities for political mileage,” he said. “We all were part of the Congress’ protest held last week against the CAA and NRC. But, we realised that the leaders, through their speeches, were trying to create fear in the minds of minorities. This is not right,” he said. Goa is a peace-loving state and the Congress is trying to instigate the minorities, Amonkar alleged.
The Indian National Congress has been terming the CAA as ‘unconstitutional’. Congress scion Rahul Gandhi recently tweeted: “The CAB is an attempt by Modi-Shah Govt to ethnically cleanse the North East. It is a criminal attack on the North East, their way of life and the idea of India. I stand in solidarity with the people of the North East and am at their service.” Notice how casually the man puts to use the word ‘ethnic cleansing’. This is nothing but a desperate attempt by the Congress leader to fan sentiments in the Northeast by uttering absolute falsehoods. Rahul Gandhi’s tweet goes on to validate the violence taking place on the streets, as the protesters will be encouraged by this tweet of an important national leader. However, as a national leader, this is a completely irresponsible statement coming from Rahul Gandhi. To insinuate extreme scenarios of catastrophe for a people who are already under distress due to misinformation is nothing but a political act to further create unrest and animosity between tribals and non-tribals of the region. Recently, Odisha Congress leader Pradip Majhi was caught on camera inciting violence. “Keep petrol and diesel ready. The moment you get an order set everything on fire. We’ll see what happens next,” Majhi is heard saying in the purported video being aired by OTV. Majhi later admitted that he had directed party workers to resort to arson saying that he has lost faith in democracy.
Evidently, the party’s opposition to the CAA has dearly cost the Congress and might lead to more such open revolt.
Earlier, the party’s anti Article 370 stand also exposed Congress and caused damage to its reputation as leaders openly came out supporting the abrogation. Among the leaders who supported the government’s move was Jyotirditya Scindia, who tweeted out his stand. Scindia, seen as a young leader close to Rahul who was given partial charge of Uttar Pradesh in the Lok Sabha elections, wrote: “I support the move on #JammuAndKashmir & #Ladakh and its full integration into union of India. Would have been better if the constitutional process had been followed. No questions could have been raised then. Nevertheless, this is in our country’s interest and I support this.” Congress’s chief whip in the Rajya Sabha Bhubaneshwar Kalita quit his membership in the Upper House over the issue after the party asked him to issue a whip to all members for opposing the bill. Congress leaders Janardan Dwivedi, Anil Shastri and Deepender Hooda also voiced their support on the government’s move.
Congress’s blind opposition to critical moves like the CAA and Article 370 will cost the party dearly and it would be well advised to recalibrate their strategy and read the writing on the wall.