Latur: A press conference of members of the minority morcha of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was held on 27 December, in Latur, Maharashtra. Releasing a statement after the press conference, the district chief, Afzal Khan, and former mayor Akhtar Shaikh stated “The Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC) are against the Constitution and against the Muslims. There’s injustice happening to our community. It’s irrational and incomprehensible for us to be with a party enabling this injustice.”
According to Live Mint nearly 100 Muslim members from the Latur BJP unit quit the party.
Khan said that they wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, home minister Amit Shah and the state leadership, expressing their reservations soon after the Act was passed. But they didn’t receive any response, so they resorted to resignation.
Hamid Shaikh, secretary of Latur’s BJP minority cell said most Muslims never vote for the BJP, those who do, it’s because of people like them. “But even we can’t defend them on this (CAA and an imminent NRC). Modi aur Amit Shah ki neeyat mein hi khot hai (Modi and Amit Shah don’t have the right intentions),” he added.
Sayid Thaha Bafaki Thangal, part of the Kerala state executive committee of the BJP’s minority morcha, also resigned on 29 December because of the Centre’s unwillingness to address the community’s fears.
On the other hand Union minority affairs minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi announced that a nationwide campaign would be undertaken and a crucial aspect of the campaign would be direct outreach to the members of the Muslim community across the country.
BJP’s Maharashtra unit held a workshop for its minority cell at its headquarters in Dadar, Mumbai. At the workshop the members were taught to defend from criticism when they reach out to their community.