Ahead of US elections, Democrat Joe Biden critical of NRC, CAA

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Written by Shubhajit Roy | New Delhi | Published: June 27, 2020 2:03:50 am

joe biden, joe biden on caa, us elections 2020 FILE – In this March 12, 2020, file photo Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden arrives to speak about the coronavirus in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

Democratic US Presidential candidate Joe Biden is critical of the Indian government’s decision on the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), and has also asked New Delhi to take all necessary steps to restore rights of the people of Kashmir.

These are part of Biden’s agenda for Muslim-American communities, which has been published on Biden’s campaign website.

“In Kashmir, the Indian government should take all necessary steps to restore rights for all the people of Kashmir. Restrictions on dissent, such as preventing peaceful protests or shutting or slowing down the Internet, weaken democracy,” it said.

“Joe Biden has been disappointed by the measures that the government of India has taken with the implementation and aftermath of the National Register of Citizens in Assam and the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Act into law. These measures are inconsistent with the country’s long tradition of secularism and with sustaining a multi-ethnic and multi-religious democracy,” it said.

Former US Vice President Biden’s vision statement is in sync with Democratic Congress members who have been critical of New Delhi’s positions in recent months. The criticism had led to an unusual step that had raised eyebrows in Washington, when Union External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar is said to have cancelled his scheduled meeting in December last year with the influential Congressional committee on foreign affairs because it had Indian-American Congress member Pramila Jayapal, who had introduced the resolution urging India to lift all restrictions in J&K.

This had prompted then Democratic Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren to support Jayapal. “Efforts to silence @PramilaJayapal are deeply troubling. US and India have an important partnership—(it)…can only succeed if it is rooted in honest dialogue and shared respect for religious pluralism, democracy, and human rights.”

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