Tumkuru (Karnataka) (IANS) Slamming the Congress for opposing the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday dared the opposition party to protest against Pakistan for persecuting Hindus living as minorities in the neighbouring country.
"You (Congress leaders) should protest against Pakistan for persecuting Hindus, Sikhs, Parsis and Christians living there as minorities than opposing the CAA, meant to help them return to India and live with dignity and self-respect," said Modi at a public meeting here, about 70 km from Bengaluru.
Addressing hundreds of students, teachers, devotees and followers of Siddaganga Mutt's Shivakumar Swamji, the Prime Minister accused the Congress of opposing even the entry of Dalits and other persecuted Hindus from Pakistan.
"The Congress is misleading other parties in opposing the Constitution, as the CAA is the law after its bill was passed by Parliament last month," said Modi in his 30-minute speech in Hindi, which was translated into the local language (Kannada) by Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi, who hails from Dharwad in Karnataka.
Alleging that atrocities against the Hindus in Pakistan have been rising, Modi regretted that the Congress had not raised its voice against such crimes unleashed on them.
"The Congress should know Pakistan has been doing injustice to the Hindus, Sikhs and Jains. Its leaders don't have time or intention to condemn Pakistan. It's our duty to stand by those who are fleeing Pakistan to India and help them," asserted Modi.
Recalling that Pakistan was founded on religion and divided its people on religious basis, Modi said it was the duty of his government to help the Hindu minorities in the neighbouring countries, including Bangladesh and Afghanistan for returning to India and make them live happily.
"We cannot leave the Hindus, Sikhs, Christians fleeing from Pakistan to their fate and not worry about their welfare as they are also our brothers and sisters," reiterated Modi.
Greeting the gathering and wishing them a happy new year in Kannada, Modi said he was blessed to begin 2020 from a sacred place like the mutt.
The Prime Minister also laid the foundation stone for building a museum in the memory of the late Shivakumar Swamiji in the mutt premises.
Earlier, Modi arrived in Bengaluru from New Delhi in an IAF aircraft and flew to Tumakuru in a military chopper to visit the mutt and address the farmers at a rally in the town later.