The Congress slammed the government on Tuesday after the passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in the Lok Sabha, with former party chief Rahul Gandhi saying the proposed legislation is an attack on the Constitution and anyone who supports it is attempting to destroy the foundation of the country.
The sharp criticism of the opposition party came after the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha on Monday with 311 members favouring it and 80 voting against it. The bill will now be tabled in the Rajya Sabha for its nod on Wednesday.
In a stinging attack on the government, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said "India's tryst with bigotry and narrow-minded exclusion" was confirmed as the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha at midnight on Monday.
"Last night at midnight, India's tryst with bigotry and narrow minded exclusion was confirmed as the CAB was passed in the Lok Sabha. Our forefathers gave their lifeblood for our freedom," she said in a tweet, recalling her great-grandfather Jawaharlal Nehru's speech at the midnight of August 14-15, 1947, when India rang in its Independence.
"Long years ago, we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom," Nehru had said in the opening lines of a speech believed to be among the greatest in the 20th century.
In that hard-fought freedom is enshrined the right to equality and the right to freedom of religion, Priyanka Gandhi said.
"Our Constitution, our citizenship, our dreams of a strong and unified India belong to all of us," she said in another tweet.
"We will fight against this government's agenda to systematically destroy our Constitution and undo the fundamental premise on which our country was built with all our might," the Congress general secretary said.
Rahul Gandhi also hit out at the government over the passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, saying it was an "attack on the Indian Constitution".
"Anyone who supports it is attacking and attempting to destroy the foundation of our nation," he said in a tweet.
The bill seeks to provide Indian citizenship to non-Muslim refugees coming from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan after facing religious persecution in those countries.
Congress's chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the bill was an anathema to India's constitutional democracy.
"It's an attack on soul of India. 72 years earlier, India was partitioned by the British, Savarkar's and Jinnah's sinister thought and approach. Descendants of the philosophy seek to partition our foundational values once again," he said in a tweet.