Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani addressing the Press Conference at the BJP Headquarter in Jaipur on Thursday. Express Photo by Rohit Jain Paras. 02.05.2019.

Addressing a huge crowd, Rupani said, “Muslims in India were happy and their population rose from 9 per cent to 14 per cent…because of the secular Constitution they live a dignified life in India.”

He said the percentage of Hindus in Pakistan reduced from 22 to 3 because “they are tortured, raped, their properties destroyed. They returned to India long ago, but they can’t avail of benefits because they are not (Indian) citizens… In Bangladesh, Hindus constitute just 2 per cent of the population, while in Afghanistan, the number of Hindus and Sikhs are around 500, (down) from over 2 lakh earlier….

“Muslims have 150 countries where they can live, but for Hindus there is only one country, and that is Bharat.”

Blaming the Opposition for protests against the CAA, the Gujarat CM said, “The Congress and its allies are creating unrest in the country by misleading people, rioting and destroying public property. I want to ask the Congress: how is the CAA against what Mahatma Gandhi said when the country was being divided… that Hindus from these three countries, if they wish to come back…”

Acknowledging that the BJP’s 2019 Lok Sabha election promise also included the NRC, Rupani said, “At the time of elections, the BJP had announced that if we form the government, then we will remove Article 370, we will pave the path for the temple at Ram Janmabhoomi, we will abolish triple talaq, implement CAA to grant citizenship to our refugees, implement the NRC, and send back infiltrators. The people democratically brought the BJP and its allies to power.”

With CAA, he told the crowd, “not a single Muslim in India will lose citizenship”.

This story first appeared in The Indian Express on December 25, 2019 here.