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Business News/ Politics / News/  CAA rules notified: Here are ‘key issues’ that the Citizenship Law may solve
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CAA rules notified: Here are ‘key issues’ that the Citizenship Law may solve

The Citizenship Amendment Rules, 2024, enabling the implementation of the CAA, 2019, grant Indian citizenship to Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist, Christian and Parsi refugees who sought shelter in India before Dec 31, 2014 due to religious persecution in 3 countries - Pakistan, Bangladesh & Afghanistan

Union Home Minister Amit Shah speaks on CAA, Lok Sabha elections, Ayodhya ram Temple (PTI)Premium
Union Home Minister Amit Shah speaks on CAA, Lok Sabha elections, Ayodhya ram Temple (PTI)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Union government notified the implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Act on Monday, March 11, weeks ahead of the Lok Sabha 2024 elections.

The Citizenship Amendment Rules, 2024, enabling the implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) passed by the Parliament in 2019, grant Indian citizenship to refugees who had sought shelter in India before December 31, 2014, due to religious persecution in three countries - Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

Follow Live Updates on CAA Rules here

The contentious Act passed in 2019 faced many delays amid criticism for excluding Muslims. Though the legislation facilitates citizenship to undocumented people belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Parsi, Christian, and Jain communities from the three countries, the rules said that the applicants will have to provide six types of documents and specify the date of entry into India.

The Union government has now spelt out the key issues that the implementation of CAA might be able to solve, according to a report in NDTV. The CAA would help to remove “legal barriers to rehabilitation and citizenship" and “give a dignified life to refugees who have suffered for decades," the report said, quoting government sources.

Also Read: CAA rules notified: Here is what the 2019 Bill on Citizenship Amendment Act proposed

The citizenship rights, would protect the cultural, linguistic, and social identity of the refugees. It will also ensure economic, commercial, free movement, and property purchase rights, sources told NDTV.

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019 was passed in Parliament in December 2019. The Lok Sabha passed the Bill on December 9, 2019, while the Rajya Sabha passed it on December 11, 2019. The President gave the assent the next day.

The law led to nationwide protests against its provisions in 2019-20. Hundreds and thousands of women led the protest by blocking a major road at Shaheen Bagh, a stretch connecting the national capital with Noida. The protest that started in December 2019 was eventually called off due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020.

The concern was that while it sought to fast-track Indian citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians, it excluded Muslims who had migrated to India owing to religious persecution in the three listed countries.

The government, however, played down fears, asserting that CAA will not take away the citizenship of any Indian citizen, irrespective of religion. The rules are only for those who have suffered persecution for years and have no other shelter in the world except India, the sources said in the NDTV report.

On Monday, opposition parties, including the Congress, hit out at the Centre over the implementation of the contentious CAA ahead of the Lok Sabha 2024 polls. They said the rules were designed to polarise the Lok Sabha polls, especially in West Bengal and Assam.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) hopes for electoral gains in West Bengal, which has a huge population of Hindus who migrated from Bangladesh and have been demanding citizenship rights, according to a report in the Indian Express. The TMC-ruled state, with its 42 seats, is a good catchment area for the BJP if PM Modi’s goal of winning 370 Lok Sabha seats is to be achieved, the report said.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the TMC won 22 seats, the BJP won 18, and the Congress won two seats in West Bengal.

BJP also feels that the move reinforces Prime Minister Modi’s image of a “doer" and “decisive leader," considering the fact that his government has fulfilled almost all promises, including the implementation of CAA, in the manifesto. The CAA was in the BJP manifesto in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

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Published: 12 Mar 2024, 10:01 AM IST
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