Union Minister Promises Swift Implementation of Citizenship Amendment Act

The Union Minister of State (MoS) for Home Affairs Ajay Mishra said on Sunday, the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) will definitely be implemented and the final draft of it is expected to be ready by March 30 next year.

“We are definitely going to make a law on CAA. We will definitely fight our case in the Supreme Court to uphold this law. This is our promise.CAA will definitely be implemented,” Mishra said while addressing the Matua community at West Bengal’s Thakurnagar, situated in North 24 Paraganas district.

“By March next year, the final draft of the CAA is expected to be ready for coming into force,” he added.

While addressing a sect comprising Hindu refugees from the neighboring Bangladesh, Mishra said no one would be able to drive out the people of the community from India.

“You don’t need to be worried. You are already citizens of India. Kisi mai ka laal ka himmat nehi hain jo aap ke birudh karwai kar sake (No one will dare take action against you),” said Mishra at the Matua dominated Bongaon constituency.

Mishra’s comments came months earlier of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in 2024 in hopes of securing the votes of Hindu refugees from Bangladesh in West Bengal.

In West Bengal, Hindus refugees constitute a large chunk of the total electorates, and Mishra’s comments are being said to be a reflection of the Bharatiya Janta Party’s (BJP) fear of losing support of the community.

While criticizing Mishra, All India Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Shantanu Sen said, “it is nothing other than a political gimmick before the Lok Sabha elections. The BJP has been unmasked and Matuas have realized that they were duped by the false promise of the BJP. This time, they are not going to get support of the community.”

The Citizenship Amendment Act, which was passed in 2019 to amend the Citizenship Act of 1955, aims to ease the path to avail Indian citizenship for religious minorities in neighboring countries, specifically Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, and Christians, but excludes citizenship for persecuted Muslims in an officially secular nation.

After the act was passed, massive protests erupted across India by Muslim groups and opposition parties, following protests, more than hundred Muslims were killed by Hindutva militants and police forces, who opposed the protests.

According to critics, the exclusion of Muslims is a part of the anti-Islamic sentiment the incumbent BJP government is trying to establish in India.

Mehdi Moosvi

Mehdi Moosvi

Mehdi Moosvi is an Indian journalist and researcher based in Tehran, who writes on international relations.

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