Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh here on Monday termed the Citizenship Amendment Act "divisive and dangerous" for the country, reiterating his stand that his government will not allow its implementation in the state.
Addressing Congress leaders and workers during a protest march here, Singh urged people to unite against the "draconian" legislation and said his party would fight "tooth and nail" against it.
"Indians should unite against BJP's divisive and dangerous attempts to destroy the nation's secular fabric with the draconian Citizenship Amendment Act," said Singh.
"My government will not allow the implementation of the CAA in Punjab and the Congress will fight against it tooth and nail," said Amarinder Singh, who was joined by senior Congress leaders Asha Kumari and Sunil Jakhar.
The CM said the BJP could not get away with its "nefarious designs" and pointed out that protests against the "draconian Act" were continuing in 16 states.
He also read out the preamble of the Constitution, terming it India's foundation which, according to him, should not be disturbed.
While constitutions were amended from time to time across the world, no one could tolerate tinkering with their basic structure, he said, adding that even the United Nations had termed the CAA "discriminatory".
He also lashed out at the alleged manhandling of AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi by police in Uttar Pradesh, saying it could not have taken place without CM Yogi Adiyanath's knowledge.
"Aren't you ashamed of such actions," he asked Yogi Adiyanath, warning that the Congress "would not forget this incident and tables would tun one day".
The chief minister said while the entire world was expressing concern over the ramifications of the legislation, "those sitting in Delhi continued to be adamant, refusing to pay heed to the voice of the nation".
He also invoked Guru Nanak Dev, saying the Sikh Guru preached secularism by saying "na koi Hindu, na koi Musalman, sab rab de bande" (nobody is a Muslim or Hindu, all are God's people).
The CM said the protest march held in Punjab's economic heartland would help send the anti-CAA message across India.
In an informal conversation with mediapersons later, Amarinder reiterated that his government would continue to oppose the Centre's attempt to "destroy India's secular character and change the preamble of the Constitution".
Earlier, senior party leader and Finance Minister Manpreet Badal equated the alleged manhandling of Priyanka Gandhi by the UP Police with that of Mahatma Gandhi's removal from a train in South Africa.
In a reference to the CAA, Manpreet said if Prime Minister Narendra Modi tried to send Indians out of the country, the Congress "will turn him out of India".
Noting that the BJP had secured a mere 39 per cent votes in the last Lok Sabha elections, he asserted that with the remaining 61 per cent supporting the opposition parties, the Modi government could not get away with the enactment of such "black laws".
PPCC president Sunil Jakhar lambasted the BJP-led Union government for allegedly trying to implement the agenda which the "goras" (British) had failed to execute.