03:10 GMT30 October 2020
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    Bangladesh and India have traditionally enjoyed a close security and economic relationship, with New Delhi having played a key role in the independence of Bangladesh in 1971.

    Rahul Gandhi, a key parliamentarian from India’s main opposition party Congress, on Wednesday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of destroying the country’s relationship with its South Asian neighbours that the Congress party had carefully “nurtured” over several decades.

    "Mr. Modi has destroyed the web of relationships that the Congress built and nurtured over several decades," Gandhi, the former chief of Congress Party, stated in a tweet, citing a news report in The Economist.

    "Living in a neighbourhood with no friends is dangerous," added Rahul Gandhi.

    The report cited by Gandhi focused on the recent hiccups in India-Bangladesh bilateral ties and Dhaka's move to strengthen its relationship with Beijing.

    The Economist report, cited by the Congress Party leader, has highlighted how an Indian bidder lost out on a $250 million airport contract to a Chinese firm, among other economic setbacks that New Delhi has reportedly faced at the hands of Beijing in the South Asian country.

    "The various anti-Muslim policies of the current Indian government have exacerbated misgivings in Bangladesh, which is 90 percent Muslim," stated the news report.

    India's contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which was approved by the federal government last year, has caused concerns over discrimination in neighbouring Bangladesh.

    The law (CAA), which has been approved by the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Indian parliament, allows non-Muslim illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan to get Indian citizenship.

    In an interview to the United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based Gulf News in January this year, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said she had failed to understand the logic behind New Delhi's amended citizenship legislation.

    "It was unnecessary," Hasina had been quoted as saying, though she did qualify her remarks by stating that it was India's “internal matter”.

    Some rights groups and critics have called the CAA discriminatory for deliberately excluding Muslims and expressed fear that it could lead to the disenfranchisement of Muslims within India. 

    The Indian government, for its part, has clarified on several occasions that the legislation does not affect any Indian citizen of any faith and it does not intend to take away anyone's citizenship. Rather, it grants citizenship to immigrants from neighbouring countries.

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    Rahul Gandhi, Narendra Modi, Bangladesh, India
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