Former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram
Former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram
(PTI Photo/R Senthil Kumar)

New Delhi: Asserting that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is not talking to his critics, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Monday urged him to select five critics and have a televised question and answer session on CAA so that people can reach their own conclusions on the amended citizenship law.

The Congress leader said he hoped that the Prime Minister would respond favourably to his suggestion.

"PM says that CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act) is meant to give citizenship, not take it away. Many of us believe that CAA (in conjunction with NPR or NRC) will declare many persons as 'non-citizens' and take away citizenship," the former Home Minister said.

"PM talks from high platforms to silent audiences and does not take questions. We talk through the media and are willing to take questions from media persons," he added.

PM Modi is not talking to those who criticise him and they do not have an opportunity to talk to him, Chidambaram said in a series of tweets.

"The only way out is for the PM to select five of his most articulate critics and have a televised Q and A session with them. Let the people listen to the discussion and reach their conclusions on CAA," he tweeted.

Chidambaram's suggestion comes after Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Saturday termed the CAA a "discriminatory and divisive" law whose "sinister" purpose was to divide people on religious lines and asserted that the NPR (National Population Register) in form and content was "disguised NRC (National Register of Citizens)".

Earlier, Sonia Gandhi told a Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting "not to be under any illusion that the NPR is a benign exercise since in form and content, NPR 2020 is a disguised NRC."

She said the government had thought that the NRC exercise could be carried out throughout the country but it hit upon the idea of NPC after the disastrous results of the Assam NRC.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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