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Nehru was communal as he wanted to protect religious minorities in Pakistan: PM Modi to Congress | India News


NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi criticized Thursday at Congress in Lok Sabha for his opposition to the CAA and asked whether Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru could be described as “communal” for seeking citizenship for religious minorities in Pakistan.

In response to a debate on the motion of thanks to the president’s speech, Modi said that even Nehru had wanted Indian citizenship for religious minorities in Pakistan while defending the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

He said that the Prime Minister of India (Jawaharlal Nehru) wrote to the Prime Minister of Assam (Gopinath Bordoloi), saying that it was necessary to differentiate between Hindu refugees and Muslim immigrants.

Modi said Nehru believed that even laws can be modified in this regard.

He said that Nehru had wanted to defend minorities in West Pakistan and East Pakistan (now Bangladesh).

“Was it communal? Did I want to create a Hindu Rashtra? I want to ask Congress,” the prime minister said.

He said that Nehru was a great thinker. Why did he not include all citizens but only mentioned religious minorities in the Nehru-Liaquat Agreement? Modi asked. Liaquat Ali Khan was the prime minister of Pakistan.

He said his government is saying today what Nehru had said decades ago.

Modi said the government was fulfilling the wishes of the founding fathers.

Referring to the Citizenship Amendment Act, President Ram Nath Kovind in his speech before the joint session of Parliament on January 31 had said that Mahatma Gandhi was in favor of bringing back religious minorities facing persecution in Pakistan.

By participating in the debate on the Motion of Appreciation, Shashi Tharoor of Congress had said that Mahatma Gandhi was only partially cited by the government to defend the amended law.

The prime minister continued to cite examples of Bhupendra Kumar Dutta and Jogendra Nath Mandal, two freedom fighters who decided to stay in Pakistan after the Partition.

Modi said Dutta told the constituent assembly of Pakistan that the Hindus were being attacked in that country.

Dutta later emigrated to India before his death.

Mandal was Pakistan’s prime minister of law and also marked systematic ethnic attacks on religious minorities in Pakistan, Modi said.

The prime minister said that in his youth he had touched the feet of Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan (popularly called Frontier Gandhi in Pakistan) and appointed other greats such as Ashfaqullah Khan, Begum Hazrat Mahal and A P J Abdul Kalam to claim that they were all Indians.

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