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Chandra Bose to rethink over continuing in BJP if concerns over secularism not addressed

KOLKATA: West Bengal BJP vice-president Chandra Bose, who is the grandnephew of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, on Thursday said he is unable to pursue the brand of politics the freedom fighter had preached and might rethink over continuing in the party if his concerns over “inclusiveness and secularism” are not addressed.

He lauded the Citizenship (Amendment) Act but maintained that there is a need for some modifications in order to grant citizenship to any persecuted person irrespective of his or her religion.

“I had wanted to spread the principles of secularism and inclusiveness by using its platform of the BJP. When I joined the BJP in January 2016, I had told this to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and (then) BJP president Amit Shah. They had too had agreed to this. “But now I am feeling that I can’t follow the principles of Netaji. And if this goes on, I might have to rethink over continuing in the party. But I won’t take any decision without talking to Narendra Modiji,” he said.

Bose said Modi and Shah have categorically noted the Citizenship (Amendment) Act is not based on religion but statements made by some other leaders are creating confusion.

“I support the CAA but there is a need for certain minor modifications. In order to stop the protests, the Centre should clearly state that any persecuted person irrespective of his religion will be given citizenship and Muslims should be included in the list,” he said.

The CAA aims to provide Indian citizenship to Hindus, Jains, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis who entered India on or before December 31, 2014, from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan, having fled religious persecution in their countries.

Bose had pitched for the inclusion of Muslims in the CAA earlier also.

“If the CAA is not related to any religion, why are we stating Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Christians, Parsis and Jains only! Why not include Muslims as well? Let’s be transparent,” he had tweeted last month.

On the recent incident of a photo of a statue of Netaji holding a BJP flag going viral, Bose condemned it and said Netaji is above party politics.

“Nobody can own Netaji but putting a party flag on his statue! I condemn it. I think state president Dilip Ghosh should immediately look into the matter,” he said.