Union minister Piyush Goyal on Friday accused the opposition parties of instigating youngsters on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and triggering violence by spreading "wrong perception" about the new law.
He alleged that the Congress has become "directionless" and in its bid to remain relevant, it was trying to spread rumours and spark violence.
The Railway Minister was speaking at IMC Centre at Churchgate in south Mumbai while launching BJP's 10-day-long campaign aimed at mobilising support for the CAA.
"Ever since the Citizen Amendment Act was passed in the Parliament, they (opposition) started spreading wrong perception (about it) in the country. They tried to instigate youngsters and spread violence at different places," Goyal said.
"I believe the Congress has become a directionless party. I would like to appeal to the Congress that it should not spread rumours and violence. It should give priority to the interest of the country and people, and keep humanity at top," he said.
Goyal alleged that in order to protect its own political interests, the Congress was misleading a specific class of people and trying to spread fear and instability in the country over the CAA.
"Congress has slowly lost its supremacy in every state and it is forming governments in many states as junior partners," he said, adding that in Maharashtra the party won just 44 seats despite contesting on 140-150 seats.
Without naming BJP's former ally Shiv Sena, Goyal took a dig at it for its different stands in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha during the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB).
"Some confused parties had supported the CAB in the Lok Sabha, but after an immoral coalition with new friends (in Maharashtra), it walked away from Rajya Sabha (during the voting on CAB)," he said. The BJP leader said the party had given big promises, shouted slogans about Hindutva, but it has now turned away from them.
He said the CAA will not take away the citizenship of any Indian. "Muslims in the country need not worry about this Act," the minister said.
Goyal said that Congress and its allies were also trying to spread wrong perception about the National Population Register (NPR).
TheR was announced by former prime minister Manmohan Singh and the then Home minister minister P Chidambaram had brought it, while the then President Pratibha Patil had launched it, he added.
"We are just taking it further. Once it (NPR) is done with the census, it will be fast and cost-effective," he said.
He added that the census will be carried out in 2020- 21 and theR will be conducted in February 2021.
Goyal also alleged that the National Register of Citizens (NRC) was unnecessarily being linked to the CAA, as neither any deliberations had taken place over it nor the government has made any decision to that effect.
According to the minister, India has given citizenship to Pakistani singer Adnan Sami and 500 other citizens in the past as they were persecuted on religious grounds in their countries.
The religious minorities in Pakistan were 23 per cent in 1951, but their number has gone down to just 3 per cent, he said.
"Whereas India has given protection to every minority. Hence the percentage of minorities has increased in the country. A specific minority community has grown to 14 per cent from 10 per cent," he said.
He also claimed that the percentage of people from the majority community has declined in the country.
The minister also said religious persecution has stopped in Bangladesh and Afghanistan after Sheikh Hasina and Ashraf Ghani came to power in those countries respectively.