Congress MLA from Madhya Pradesh, Arif Masood, while speaking at an event in Ratlam hit out at his own party members and claimed that “Congressmen are sitting in BJP’s lap.”
Congressmen sitting in BJP’s lap, says party MLA Arif Masood
— ANI Digital (@ani_digital) February 28, 2020
While venting out his outrage, Arif revealed a startling conversation that he had with Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath. He informed, “The Chief Minister told me that this movement is going in another direction and BJP is taking advantage of it. CM is correct. We are talking about Ambedkar and Gandhi and your Congressmen are sitting on BJP’s lap. That’s why our movement is getting weaker.”
Arif added, “I want to say to the Congress leaders that where are you? Why are you hiding in houses? If you are quite, then, people will say you are on their (BJP) side.” He also urged people to question Congress politicians about their whereabouts when they come to their doorsteps.
While Arif Masood proposed for active participation of his fellow party members in protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC), it comes as a stark contrast to what party veteran Jairam Ramesh stated in an interview with the Press Trust of India (PTI) at the launch on his new book.
“We (The Congress Party) should maintain an arm’s length from these people’s protests. We should not try to politicise and hijack them.”, Ramesh was quoted as saying.
Ever since the CAA has been passed by the Parliament, the Congress party has resorted to bizarre and inconsistent claims over time. The story became murky when prominent Congress leaders shifted from one rhetoric to the other. It was initially alleged by the grand old party that CAA was Anti-Muslim. When the claim failed to hold water, Rahul Gandhi claimed that NRC was anti-poor, just like demonetisation.
Ashok Gehlot, the Chief Minister of Rajasthan, and Kamal Nath claimed to not implement CAA in their respective states. Captain Amarinder Singh, the Chief Minister of Punjab, even passed a resolution in the State Assembly against the humanitarian law that aims to fast-track the citizenship of persecuted minorities from the three neighbouring Islamic republics who are staying in India illegally.
Congress leader and lawyer Kapil Sibal categorically stated that States do not have the power to stop implementation of a law that has been passed by the Parliament. His comments directly contradicted the rigid stance that the CMs of the Congress-ruled States had assumed.
Sibal’s views were also shared by Congress old guard, Bhupinder Singh Hooda on Monday. He stated that a State cannot say no to a law passed by the Parliament from a Constitutional perspective. Even Jairam Ramesh had confessed that resolution passed in the Assemblies of Congress-ruled States against the CAA was more of a “political signal”.
Nevertheless, the Congress party saw a political opportunity in CAA to mobilise the public against the current political dispensation but to their horror, the protests soon took an Islamist turn. The party found itself in a state of dilemma such that it could neither endorse the violent mobs nor sideline the Islamist resistance to Parliamentary democracy. The comments made by Arif Masood is a reflection of that confusion within the party.