Madhya Pradesh CM Kamal Nath to resist implementation of Citizenship Amendment Bill

Madhya Pradesh CM Kamal Nath asserted that he does not want to be sowing the seeds of divisiveness and that what would happen if the Citizenship Amendment Bill would be implemented in the country

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath.
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NH Web Desk

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath asserted that he does not want to be sowing the seeds of divisiveness and that what would happen if the Citizenship Amendment Bill would be implemented in the country. “I will do what all the other Congress governments have done and will take the line of my party in this matter,” underscored Nath.

“There is no question of confrontation with the Centre. This is about federalism. If the government believed in federalism, then they would have taken called for a meeting of all CMs to take their inputs too. BJP is only practicing the politics of distraction,” highlighted Nath. He was interacting with women journalists at the Indian Women's Press Club in the Capital.

Chief Ministers of West Bengal, Punjab and Kerala have already insisted that they would not implement the amended Citizenship Act in their respective states.

Slamming the Narendra Modi government, Nath asked, “What is the country we want? Do we want to make India intolerant? We have to remember the ethos of the country. These kinds of narratives have a shelf life. Emergency had a shelf life, as did the politics of 1977 (India's first non-Congress Prime Minister was elected and Congress lost). Even the politics of Rajiv Gandhi when he won 400 seats had a shelf life. The aspiration of the youth has changed, so they will see through this. The narrative of India is being changed. The BJP is changing it by design and it is not changing naturally. So we want to make India intolerant.”

The politics of distraction will not work. “Whenever there is economic slowdown, a bill is introduced; a decision is taken to distract people. They are attempting to change the orbit of people’s imagination. We have to be worried about the economy. We have the largest aspirational society in the world,” pointed out Nath.

“There is a crisis everywhere we look. The banking sector is in a mess. Not only is the Non-Performing Assets increasing, there is a lending crisis. No one wants to lend to the private sector. Investment sentiment is down. Whenever the NPA crisis is raised, the government only deflects to what they inherited in 2014. Even if you look at the numbers, the NPAs have multiplied because of their poor policies,” pointed out Nath.

The RBI stated that on June 30, 2014, the gross NPAs of thesebanks were worth Rs 2,24,542 crore. At the end of December 2017, the number had risen to Rs 7,23,513 crore. According to data compiled by the RBI, system-wide GNPAs of banks have gone up from 3.8 per cent of the gross advances or Rs 2.63 lakh crore on March 31, 2014 to Rs 10.39 lakh crore or 11.2 per cent as of March 31, 2018.

“When I was the commerce minister of the country, the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh would sit down with us to figure out how to reduce our foreign deficit, how to balance imports and exports, but now is that happening?” questions Nath.

Speaking on Opposition unity, the Madhya Pradesh CM said, “It’s only been six months since BJP has got these numbers. I agree there is little coordination between Opposition parties. Opposition has to come together with a joint strategy. Several states are worried that Centre will cut off their funds.”

When he was asked if Jyotiraditya Scindia would be a possible Rajya Sabha candidate from Madhya Pradesh next year, Nath said it is possible. “Next year, three Rajya Sabha seats are set to come from Madhya Pradesh. Congress is likely to get two and Scindia could be one of them,” said Nath.

The Madhya Pradesh CM slammed the Women and Child minister Smriti Irani for demanding an apology from Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for his statement on the rising rapes in India. “What should he apologise for? He has only stated what their leader Narendra Modi said in 2014,” quipped Nath, whose began his life as a politician wih his election to the seventh Lok Sabha in 1980.

Going down the memory lane, Nath said the India of then and the India now are different. “I have traversed paths many have not traversed. I was first elected to the seventh Lok Sabha. At that time many had come to politics from the freedom struggle. It was the time of Jyotirmoy Bosu (of CPI(M)), Biju Patnaik (Janata Dal) and Jagjivan Ram. Through these years we have also changed and the way we perceive ourselves has also changed,” added Nath.

Speaking of his term as Chief Minister in Madhya Pradesh, Nath said that dues of 20,40,000 farmers had been written off debts of the 38 lakh farmers. In the next Assembly session, he is looking to write off more loans. “We are not only writing off loans of those who have defaulted, but also of those who have been paying off their loans as otherwise it will seem that only those who defaulted will benefit from government policies,” explained Nath.

Alluding to BJP’s attempts to lure Congress MLAs, Nath quipped that Madhya Pradesh was not Karnataka. “They are trying through every way possible. But, I got two BJP MLAs to vote for our policies,” underscored Nath.

Elaborating on transforming governance in Madhya Pradesh, Nath pointed out that “BJP has tried to saffronise every institution. We have had to reconstitute a large number of them. We changed the Vice Chancellor of the Makhanlal Chaturvedi National University of Journalism and Communication. I appointed Deepak Tiwari who has written against me. But, he has experience,” contended Nath.

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