Maharashtra minister and Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray on Saturday lashed out at the Narendra Modi government for campaigning about the Citizenship Amendment Act in a school.
Thackeray tweeted a day after BJP workers visited a school in Mumbai’s Matunga suburb to “spread awareness and correct misinformation” about the law. The Bharatiya Janata Party had organised a programme at the Dayanand Balak Vidyalaya on Bhimani street from 10 am to 11 am on Friday.
“To campaign about an Act in schools is ridiculous,” Thackeray tweeted. “What is the need for such political campaigning justification, if there is no ill intent?” The minister said politicisation of schools should not be accepted.
In response, the Bharatiya Janata Party accused Thackeray and other politicians of playing “dirty politics” over the matter. “CAA is not a political thing,” said BJP spokesperson Madhav Bhandari. “These people are trying to politicise a national issue that should have remained out of dirty politics. They are playing dirty politics. CAA is a national duty.”
Bhandari asserted that each and every “nation-loving person” should join the campaign. The BJP was attempting to reach every Indian, he added.
The Citizenship Amendment Act, approved by Parliament on December 11 and signed into law by President Ram Nath Kovind on December 13, provides citizenship to refugees from six minority religious communities from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan, provided they have lived in India for six years and entered the country by December 31, 2014. The Act has been widely criticised for excluding Muslims.
At least 26 people died in last month’s protests against the citizenship law. Of these, 19 died in Uttar Pradesh, five in Assam and two in Karnataka.
The BJP has started a nationwide campaign, with the goal of reaching three crore households, to “create awareness” about the citizenship law, Hindustan Times reported. It has asked every party member to reach out to at 10 individuals.