Prashant Kishor (left) with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar
Janata Dal (United) Vice President Prashant Kishor has challenged Home Minister Amit Shah to "try and implement" the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the proposed pan-India National Register of Citizens (NRC).
In a tweet on January 22, Kishor said: "Being dismissive of citizens' dissent couldn't be the sign of strength of any Govt. @amitshah Ji, if you don't care for those protesting against #CAA_NRC, why don't you go ahead and try implementing the CAA & NRC in the chronology that you so audaciously announced to the nation! (sic)”
Kishor's comment comes a day after Shah at a rally in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh said that CAA will not be withdrawn, no matter who protests.
On January 21, Shah said there is no provision in the amended law for taking anyone's citizenship away. "A canard is being spread against the CAA by the Congress, SP, BSP, and Trinamool Congress," he said.
"The CAA is a law to grant citizenship," he added.
"I want to say that no matter who protests, this (CAA) will not be withdrawn," he added.
Shah also attacked opposition leaders for "misleading" people on CAA.
Also read: Explained | CAA protests: Can states actually challenge constitutional validity of central laws?
Kishor, who is also a well-known political strategist, has been a vocal critic of CAA and pan-India NRC.
According to the amended citizenship law, members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who came from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan till December 31, 2014, and faced religious persecution there will not be treated as illegal immigrants \will be eligible for Indian citizenship. The law excludes Muslims.
Those opposing the amended law say it discriminates on the basis of religion and violates the Constitution. They also allege that the CAA, when combined with the proposed pan-India National Register of Citizens (NRC), is intended to target India’s Muslim community.
However, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led central government has dismissed the allegations, maintaining that the law is intended to give citizenship to persecuted people from the three neighbouring countries and not take away citizenship from anyone.