01:17 GMT30 October 2020
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): Opposition parties in India, students, and people across the country have been protesting against the Modi government, over its decision to implement the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), and for promoting the National Population Register (NPR) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC).

    Politician Rahul Gandhi from India's main opposition Congress party has accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of having belief in the same ideology as was followed by the assassin of the country’s iconic freedom fighter Mahatma Gandhi.  

    On Thursday, while leading a massive march called – “Save the Constitution” against the controversial Citizenship law (CAA) in Kerala state, the Congress Party's Rahul Gandhi said:

    “When [Nathuram] Godse shot Mahatma Gandhi, he didn’t open his eyes, as he knew what he was doing[sic]. Even PM Modi isn’t listening to the people protesting against the law. Godse and PM Modi believe in the same ideology but the only difference is PM Modi does not have the guts to say he believes in Godse".

    Nathuram Godse, a member of the Hindu Mahasabha group, shot Mahatma Gandhi dead in 1948, a year after India gained independence from British rule.

    Several hundred people including the leader of the opposition in the Kerala Assembly and party workers held the flag during the march led by Rahul Gandhi.

    He has also accused the Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party government of distracting people from the economic issues in the country.

    India’s economic growth has been on a slide with the latest numbers for the second quarter (July-September 2019) dipping to a six-year low of 4.5 per cent. The slowing growth on the back of both domestic and external factors is a cause for concern for the government ahead of the annual budget which is due on 1 February.

    Prime Minister Modi has yet to react to Gandhi's bold claims.

    Citizenship Amendment Act

    India’s parliament passed the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) last December seeking to streamline the Indian citizenship process for illegal immigrants of persecuted non-Muslim minorities from neighbouring countries, including Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

    The bill, however, sparked violent protests across India for allegedly discriminating against Muslims, who form a 200-million-strong minority in the secular country.

    The government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has, however, clarified that no Indian citizen would be affected by the law as it “seeks to grant citizenship, not snatch it”.

    Modi has also clarified that his cabinet has not even considered a nationwide NRC, a headcount to identify bonafide Indian citizens and illegal immigrants.

    The southern Indian state of Kerala, led by Communist Party (Marxist), recently challenged the law in the apex court of the country. It was the first Indian state to pass a resolution in its assembly to scrap the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and insisted that it is unconstitutional. The Congress party is in the opposition in Kerala.

    The West Bengal State Assembly also recently passed a resolution against the CAA.  


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