Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) key ally Shiromani Akali Dal has expressed concerns over the present situation in the country against the backdrop of government’s criticism over the Citizenship Amendment Act. Former Punjab CM and SAD leader Parkash Singh Badal said that minorities have to be taken along to successfully run a government.
Asserting that all religions should be respected, he said, "It is a matter of grave concern that the present situation in the country is not that good. I will say that all religions should be respected and take along minorities, take along your allies if you have to be successful in running the government so that all brothers (countrymen) consider themselves part of a family."
"Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs brothers should embrace each other rather than we sow seeds of hatred," the 92-year-old politician said.
The SAD is demanding from the government to include Muslims in the CAA. The party which is a constituent of the ruling NDA at the Centre even supported an anti-CAA resolution moved by the Amarinder Singh-led Congress government in the Punjab Assembly last month.
The citizenship law was amended by Parliament last December to grant Indian citizenship to the persecuted minorities of Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
The SAD leader’s remark comes in the backdrop of protests across the country over the law. The opposition parties have been arguing that the law discriminates against Muslims and goes against the spirit of the Constitution.
Badal said those in power at the Centre and the states should ensure that the country was run strictly in accordance with the Constitution.
"It is written in our Constitution that our country will have a secular and democratic rule," he said, adding that any deviation from the sacred principles of secularism will only weaken the country.
"Those in power at the state as well as others must work unitedly and tirelessly to safeguard, preserve and protect India as a secular democracy," he said.