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Can't Support Citizenship (Amendment) Act That Sows Seeds Of Divisiveness: Kamal Nath

Asked why then the Congress was not able to oppose the legislation, Nath blamed the fact that the numbers were stacked in favour of the BJP and there was little coordination among the opposition parties.

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After West Bengal, Punjab and Kerala chief ministers having categorically said 'No' to implement the Citizenship (Amendment) Act in their respective states, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath has said that his government will toe the line taken by his party's central leadership on the issue. "Do you want to be a part of the process of sowing seeds of divisiveness? The Congress party does not. We will toe the line taken by our party on the issue of Citizenship (Amendment) Act," said Nath during an interaction with the media in the national capital on Friday.

Asked why then the Congress was not able to oppose the legislation, Nath blamed the fact that the numbers were stacked in favour of the BJP and there was little coordination among the opposition parties.

"It has been six months that this kind of number the BJP has got. In the next couple of months, the Act will have to come to us and will be passed only after common understanding," he said.

"For now, there is little coordination among the opposition parties. There is also a factor due to which the State governments are afraid -- the Centre may cut their funds if they go against them. We all had the schemes funded fully by the Centre. These have now become 60:40," added Nath.

In an indirect reference to the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and an apparent attack on the policies of the Central government, Nath said: "We are changing the narrative of India. We have challenging times ahead. What is the ethos of India."

"We have different customs, festivals. Your pyjamas change into dhoti when you go down south. Such a lot of diversity. This ethos starts from Chandragupta times. We are the most tolerant society on this planet. Do we want to make them intolerant by instilling characteristics that challenge this ethos," said Nath, adding that these 'inflicted narratives' have a shelf life.

"We did not do the politics of diversion by bringing in Bills like these -- 370 and CAB, or Pulwama," said Chief Minister Nath.

"We had an emergency that had a shelf life. Rajiv Gandhi with 400 seats had a shelf life. The voters today are alive and aware. I shudder when I think of what happens to youth today. If you ask me what worries you, it is the future of youths. Our focus is not churning jobs, but Start-up India, etc," added Nath.

Sharing his concern over the economic slowdown, he said: "The investment sentiment is down. We talk of foreign investment. One of them told me that the Indian community is not willing to invest in India. How do you trust us to invest."

However, Nath avoided direct replies on why Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindhia is maintaining a distance from the party. "We were together last week. The party is very cohesive," he said.

The MP chief minister also played a video clip of Prime Minister Modi where he was addressing a gathering and charging the then government going in for elections with making a rape capital out of a city. This, Nath, said when he was asked about Rahul Gandhi's 'rape in India' remark that caused protests by the BJP in Parliament.

Responding to if he would also want Rahul Gandhi to take charge of the Congress party, Nath said: "I was the one who demanded it." 

(ANI)


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