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Arvind Kejriwal fear mongers about CAA and ‘additional votes to BJP’, launches tirade and brands persecuted Hindus from Islamic states as ‘Pakistanis’: What he said

Arvind Kejriwal completely forgot that his party leader and Delhi MLA Amanatullah Khan systematically settled illegal Muslim immigrants from Pakistan and Myanmar. In fact, in 2022, the party was seen flaunting the "services" they provided to illegal Rohingyas. Despite this, Kejriwal launched a tirade against persecuted Hindus, branding them "Pakistanis".

On 13th March, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) supremo and Chief Minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal, chose the path of fear-mongering against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). Notably, the Government of India notified rules for CAA on 11th March and launched a dedicated portal for eligible candidates to apply for citizenship. Opposition parties, including AAP, are seeing it as a political agenda of the ruling party Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and giving baseless and misleading explanations as to why CAA is bad for India.

What is perhaps most insidious, is the fact that Arvind Kejriwal also unleashed a tirade against the persecuted Hindus and other minorities of Islamic nations who were persecuted and found shelter in India.

Kejriwal released a 7-minute video on the matter in which he questioned the government of India’s intention of notifying rules just before the 2024 Lok Sabha Elections. He claimed that if the BJP had done work over the past ten years, they would have showcased their achievements instead of notifying the rules for CAA. He accused the government of discussing CAA instead of solving problems such as soaring prices and unemployment.

Interestingly, Kejriwal completely forgot that his party leader and Delhi MLA Amanatullah Khan systematically settled illegal Muslim immigrants from Pakistan and Myanmar. AAP leaders have extended their support for illegal Rohingyas in and around Delhi. Despite the past actions, Kejriwal accused the government of doing vote bank politics over immigrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. In 2022, the party was seen flaunting the “services” they provided to illegal Rohingyas.

Kejriwal further claimed that the BJP-led government wants to bring a large number of ‘minorities’ from the three countries and grant them citizenship with employment, housing and other facilities. He claimed that the government has failed to provide employment to the youth of India but wants to bring people from Pakistan and settle them here. He claimed that the facilities that rightfully belong to the people of India would go to immigrants. Throughout his speech, he repeatedly called the persecuted minorities from neighbouring Islamic nations, including the persecuted Hindus “ghuspathiyas” (illegal immigrants).

He further claimed that there are 2-3 crore minorities in these three Islamic countries that are very poor. He asserted that by using CAA, the BJP would let the poor people from the three countries enter India and settle there because it would translate to additional votes for the BJP. Arvind Kejriwal claimed to have spoken to many people over the issue, a claim that he has made over the past many times to justify his baseless theories and said they told him the immigrants brought in by BJP using CAA would be strategically settled to places where BJP has less vote share. He claimed that it would help them in the future. Sadly, he completely ignored the fact that CAA is meant for religiously persecuted minorities of the three countries mentioned irrespective of their financial conditions.

The notion that lakhs of poor immigrants would enter India after CAA Rules have been notified is false and misleading. CAA is meant for only those who entered India before 31st December 2014. There is no plan to extend the date. Furthermore, India has been providing citizenship to people from other countries irrespective of their religion. They have to follow some regulations like staying in India for eleven years or more and not indulging in illegal activities to become eligible for citizenship. The only thing that CAA has changed is that the waiting period for those who entered India on or before 31st December 2014 has been reduced to five years from 11 years. It has been done to help the persecuted individuals have a dignified life in the country, which Kejriwal does not seem to think they deserve.

While admitting that the citizenship under CAA would be granted only to those who entered before 2014, he consistently called them illegal immigrants. He forgot that many of these asylum seekers who entered India came on valid documents and a section of them overstayed. The Indian government, in most cases, extend the Visa and grants them time so that they can apply for citizenship. It is the same for all immigrants including Muslims. The only difference CAA makes is that it reduces the waiting period for persecuted minorities of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. It does not guarantee citizenship as it will only be provided once documents get verified by the authorities and there are no objections over the application.

While the narrative of Kejriwal fear-mongering about increased votes for BJP is insidious in itself, what is most dangerous is that he repeatedly launched a tirade against persecuted Hindus who are seeking refuge in India. The Hindus in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh have been persecuted based on their religion ever since the partition. Kejriwal kept referring to them as “Pakistanis” in the hopes of creating a narrative against those persecuted Hindus, trying to send a message that these refugees are actually from an ‘enemy nation’, so to speak. It is tragic that these Hindus not only had to flee because of what the Islamists were doing to them, but even politicians in India like Arvind Kejriwal are trying to create hatred against them for their petty politics.

Kejriwal then accused Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma of cheating the people of Assam. Arvind Kejriwal claimed that the language and culture of the people of Assam have changed due to illegal migration from Bangladesh. However, he failed to mention that the citizenship under CAA is subjected to verification of the documents by the concerned authorities. It is not that every immigrant of the specified communities would get citizenship automatically.

Arvind Kejriwal, whose party came out in support of illegal Rohingyas on several occasions, is talking about the threat that immigrants coming from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh pose. Interestingly, the narrative that CAA is anti-Muslim is failing. It seems that this is the reason AAP has shifted gears and now claims that it would affect the people of India without mentioning their religion.

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