CAA implemented in India ahead of Lok Sabha elections

Government notifies implementation of Citizenship Amendment Act, aiming to provide citizenship to non-Muslim migrants from neighboring countries who arrived in India before 2014.

Livemint
First Published11 Mar 2024
The CAA rules aim to confer 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 2014.
The CAA rules aim to confer 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 2014. (Photo via PMO)

The Narendra Modi government notified implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Act on Monday — mere weeks before the Lok Sabha elections. The contentious Act has faced numerous delays and continued criticism from the Opposition ranks. More than 100 people have lost their lives to protests and consequent police action since it was passed in December 2019.

The CAA rules aim to confer 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 2014. Applications have to be submitted online through a newly formed portal with citizenship hopefuls declaring the year in which they entered India without travel documents.

Home Minister Amit Shah had recently indicated that the CAA will be issued ahead of Lok Sabha polls and enforced accordingly. The senior politician also reiterated the BJP-led government's commitment towards the issue during a rally in West Bengal and accused Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of misleading people.

ALSO READ: ‘Let me see the rules first’: Mamata Banerjee takes ‘publicity’ dig at BJP on likely notification of CAA rules

"CAA will be implemented by the polls, and there should be no confusion around it. CAA was a promise of the Congress government. When the country was divided and the minorities were persecuted in those countries, Congress had assured the refugees that they were welcome in India and they will be provided with Indian citizenship. Now they are backtracking," Shah had said.

CAA implementation had been a significant poll plank for the BJP during the previous Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in West Bengal. Opposition leaders however insist that they would repeal the Act if they were voted to power in the upcoming polls. 

“After seeking nine extensions for the notification of the rules, the timing right before the elections is evidently designed to polarise the elections, especially in West Bengal and Assam. It also appears to be an attempt to manage the headlines after the Supreme Court’s severe strictures on the Electoral Bonds Scandal,” said Congress leader Jairam Ramesh.

(With inputs from agencies)

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