ANI Photo | Congress questions timing of CAA implementation, says aimed at polarisation

Congress General Secretary Jairam Ramesh questioned the timing of the implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Act and asserted that it was timed ahead of the general polls to polarise the voters in Assam and West Bengal.
“It took them 4 years and 3 months to bring this rule. The Bill was passed in December 2019. The law should have been formed within 3-6 months. Modi Government sought nine extensions from the Supreme Court and took 4 years and 3 months before notifying the rules last night,” Jairam Ramesh said.
“These are just for polarisation – to influence the elections in Bengal and Assam. If they were doing it honestly, why did they not bring it in 2020? They are bringing it now, one month before the elections. This is headline management…This is the strategy for social polarisation…,” the Congress leader added.
The Congress Rajya Sabha reiterated that the government had not stuck to a time frame on this and had waited for over four years to notify the rules.
“Our Prime Minister Modi says his government does work with a deadline and nothing is delayed in our government. So, why did it take over four years?” he added.
Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge alleged that the timing of notifying the rules for the Citizenship (Amendment) Act is “BJP’s desperate attempt at divisive politics” just ahead of the coming Lok Sabha elections.
In February, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said in categorical terms that CAA was brought in to provide citizenship and not to take away anyone’s citizenship.
“Minorities in our country, and specially our Muslim community, are being provoked. CAA cannot snatch away anyone’s citizenship because there is no provision in the Act. CAA is an act to provide citizenship to refugees who were persecuted in Bangladesh and Pakistan,” Shah had said.
On Monday evening, the Union Home Ministry notified rules for implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), days ahead of the announcement of the Lok Sabha elections schedule.
The CAA, introduced by the Narendra Modi government and passed by Parliament in 2019, aims to provide Indian citizenship to persecuted non-Muslim migrants – including Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis, and Christians – who migrated from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan and arrived in India before December 31, 2014.
The applications for citizenship would have to be submitted in a completely online mode, for which a web portal has been provided.
During the past two years, over 30 district magistrates and home secretaries across nine states have been authorized with the ability to confer Indian citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, and Christians arriving from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan under the Citizenship Act of 1955.
As per the Ministry of Home Affairs annual report for 2021-22, between April 1, 2021, and December 31, 2021, a cumulative count of 1,414 individuals from non-Muslim minority communities originating from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan were granted Indian citizenship through registration or naturalization under the Citizenship Act, 1955.
Under the Citizenship Act of 1955, Indian citizenship by registration or naturalization is granted to non-Muslim minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan in nine states such as Gujarat, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, and Maharashtra.
It’s notable that authorities in districts of Assam and West Bengal, both politically sensitive regions on this matter, have not been empowered with these citizenship-granting authorities thus far

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