At least 80 Muslim leaders of Narendra Modi led-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) stepped down from their primary membership of the party in protest over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, calling it a "divisive" measure.
The incident took place in Madhya Pradesh on Friday, after the party men wrote to the newly appointed national president, J P Nadda on Thursday, PTI reports quoting BJP leader Rajik Qureshi Farshiwala.
These leaders, who dubbed the CAA "a divisive provision made on religious grounds", include several office-bearers of the BJP's minority cell, Rajik said.
"It was becoming increasingly difficult for us to participate in our community's events after the CAA came into existence," he added.
He mentioned people cursed them and asked how long they plan to keep quiet on the enactment of CAA?
"Persecuted refugees of any community should get Indian citizenship. You cannot decide that a particular person is an intruder or a terrorist merely on the basis of religion," Rajik opined.
In the letter, the leaders stated: "Citizens have right to equality under Article 14 of the Indian Constitution. But the BJP-led central government is implementing the CAA on religious grounds. This is an act of dividing the country and against the basic spirit of the Constitution."
Some of the leaders who have resigned are considered close to BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya.
When asked about the development, Vijayvargiya on Thursday evening said: "I am not aware of the matter. But we will explain (about the CAA) if a person is being misled."