‘Did not pay attention during history class’: Shashi Tharoor hits back at Amit Shah’s partition jibe

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New Delhi | Published: December 10, 2019 6:01:43 PM

Shashi Tharoor's sharp reaction came a day after Shah defended the introduction of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 in Lok Sabha, saying the bill would not have been needed had the Congress not allowed partition on basis of religion.

Congress, Partition, Citizenship Bill, Shashi Tharoor, Amit ShahTharoor has been vehemently criticising the government on the Citizenship Bill. (File)

Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Tuesday launched a scathing attack on Union Home Minister Amit Shah and said he must not have paid attention during history class in school and reminded him that it was the Hindu Mahasabha which backed the two-nation theory.

“Amit Shah did not pay attention during History class; it was the Hindu Mahasabha which backed the two-nation theory,” Tharoor said at the Network18’s Lokmat Conclave in Mumbai.

Tharoor’s sharp reaction came a day after Shah defended the introduction of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 in Lok Sabha, saying the bill would not have been needed had the Congress not allowed partition on basis of religion.

“The Congress had divided the country on the basis of religion during the Partition of 1947 that is why it was necessary to bring the bill, Shah stated, adding that the bill was brought on the basis of reasonable classifications provided under the Constitution.

Tharoor has been vehemently criticising the government on the Citizenship Bill. Opposing the introduction of the bill in Lok Sabha, he submitted a notice in the house and argued that Parliament has no legislative competence to violate the Constitution. “If this bill is passed, then it will be a victory of Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s thoughts over Mahatma Gandhi,” he said while participating in the debate on the contentious bill.

The Citizenship Amendment Bill, which was part of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s election manifesto for the 2019 General election, was introduced in the Lower House amid protests and incidents of violence in Northeastern states with most of the student unions and regional political parties opposing it.

Tharoor’s party colleagues inside Parliament echoed his view on the proposed legislation and said the bill discriminated against Muslims and violated India’s secular constitution.

According to the bill, members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities, who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, till December 31, 2014 facing religious persecution there, will not be treated as illegal immigrants but given Indian citizenship. The bill also reduces the period of naturalisation for such group of persons from 11 years to five years.

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