CAA-NRC: With fiery speech, Mahua Moitra tears into BJP in LS

NEW DELHI: Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra on Monday tore into the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government with her fiery speech against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Population Register (NPR).

The TMC MPs were seen holding posters reading “NO NPR, NO CAA”.

Participating in the debate on the Motion of Thanks to the President’s Address in the Lok Sabha, Moitra made a hard-hitting attack on the government, saying it should not go beyond tenets of democracy or arrogate any extra-constitutional authority.

Betrayal of body politic

She accused the government of “betrayal of body politic” and said that the people were on the streets against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), the National Population Register (NPR) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC).

“As a member of the opposition, I have an unquestionable right to tell you that as a government you lack humility,” she said.

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“Do not go beyond the tenets of democracy. Today I rise to speak of betrayal. And this betrayal is not just for myself. I was not part of 31 per cent who voted for you in 2014 and 37 per cent who voted for you in 2019. This is not about people like me. I was sceptical about you, your ideology, your rhetoric right from the word go. In a sense, you own me little. The truth is you have betrayed the very citizen who did vote for you,” she said.

Moitra said the BJP did not come to power only on votes of “the Hindu right” but because a very large section of ordinary people, the aspirational middle-of-the-road voters “cast aside whatever reservations they might have had about your past” and believed in the slogan of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’.

She said these were not hard-core believers but “they still believed you, they voted for you.”

Betrayed young voters

“You have betrayed the young voters looking forward to their first job. You have betrayed small businessmen by your decision of demonetisation killing his market,” she said.

She accused the government of questioning the citizenship of the people who had voted for it.

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“The middle-of-road voters who cannot recognise the India they are living in, cannot recognise the images they see on TV screens,” she said and accused the members of the ruling party of “spewing hate-filled invective.”

‘Us versus them’

She also mentioned the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz concentration camp and said all holocaust memorials serve one reminder that it could happen again.

“NPR, NRC, and CAA are all tools in Machevillian design to first mark out and then disenfranchise and finally annihilate. This is your biggest betrayal of those who voted for you. Nobody wants to be part of this ‘us versus them’ debate. My friends who voted for you in 2014 are horrified by what is happening in their name under your watch,” she said.

She accused the BJP of demonising dissent and forgetting dharma.

Moitra also objected to BJP choosing its MP Parvesh Sahib Singh as its first speaker in the debate on the Motion of Thanks to the President’s Address, saying that he had been barred from campaigning for 96 hours by the poll panel.

“You have executive authority to do so but your government depends on higher authority — moral authority,” she said.