’Date chosen before Ramadan, ’designed to polarise’: Political parties react to CAA implementation

Opposition parties criticize BJP for timing of CAA notification, alleging polarisation for Lok Sabha elections and distraction tactic. Muslim community and student bodies also express discontent.

Written By Arshdeep kaur
Published11 Mar 2024, 08:09 PM IST
The protestors demanded withdrawal of CAA saying that it is against one religious group. (File Photo)
The protestors demanded withdrawal of CAA saying that it is against one religious group. (File Photo)(HT_PRINT)

Soon after the Modi government notified the rules of CAA, opposition parties on Monday flayed the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) for the timing of the move. While some parties alleged that it is a move to polarise the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, others went on to call it BJP's game of distraction. 

It has also been receiving heat from the Muslim community and student bodies. 

The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) grants Indian nationality to Hindus, Parsis, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains and Christians who fled to Hindu-majority India from Muslim-majority Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan before December 31, 2014. 

Questioning the timing of the CAA notification, the Congress said that the move was ‘evidently designed to polarise’ the Lok Sabha polls, especially in Assam and West Bengal. "It also appears to be an attempt to manage the headlines after the Supreme Court's severe strictures on the Electoral Bonds Scandal." 

Jairam Ramesh, in a post of X, said the Modi government has taken over four years to notify the rules, after nine extensions. “It has taken four years and three months for the Modi Government to notify the rules for the Citizenship Amendment Act that was passed by the Parliament in December 2019.”

Refuting the Prime Minister's claims that his government works in a business-like and time-bound manner, Ramesh said that the time taken to notify the rules for the CAA is yet another demonstration of PM Modi's blatant lies.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on the other hand has called it BJP's publicity for elections, while also stating that she will fight against the saffron party if the notification deprives people of their rights.  

"Let me see the rules first. The notification has not been issued yet. If people are deprived of their rights under the rules, then we will fight against it. This is BJP's publicity for elections, it is nothing else," the Trinamool Congress chief said at a press conference in Kolkata.

The Bengal CM also questioned Centre's motive of releasing the notification before Ramazan and said the rules should have been notified six months ago. She also appealed people to be calm.  

"You should have notified rules six months ago. If there are any good things, we always support and appreciate but if anything is done that is not good for the country, TMC will always raise its voice and oppose it. I know why today's date was chosen before Ramazan. I appeal to the people to be calm and avoid any rumors," she said, 

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav termed the CAA notification as BJPs' game of distraction, and said the Modi government at the Centre should also explain why lakhs of citizens gave up their citizenship of the country during their 10-year rule. "When the citizens of the country are forced to go out for livelihood, then what will happen by bringing 'citizenship law' for others? The public has now understood the BJP's game of politics of distraction," Yadav said in a post on X.

"The BJP government should explain why lakhs of citizens gave up their citizenship of the country during their 10 years of rule. No matter what happens tomorrow you have to give account of ‘Electoral Bond’ and then also of the 'care fund'," he added.

Scenario in Assam 

Opposition parties in Assam called the CAA notification a way for granting citizenship to undocumented non-Muslim migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

The All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) which launched a six-year agitation demanding identification and deportation of illegal immigrants in 1979, said it will fight legally against the Centre's move.

Congress leader of the opposition in Assam assembly Debabrata Saikia termed the notification of CAA as "unfortunate".

“When Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP had been saying since 2016 that all illegal foreigners will have to leave Assam, they betrayed the people of the state and brought in the CAA,'' Saikia told PTI.

The people of Assam will make the PM and the BJP answerable for it, he added.

Raijor Dal president and MLA Akhil Gogoi said, "The process to legitimise 15-20 lakh Bangladeshi Hindus illegally living in Assam has begun. There is no other way but to come out on the street and protest against this unconstitutional act.''

''This is Delhi's attack on Assam and the entire country. We appeal to all to come out and protest against this law peacefully and democratically,'' Gogoi told PTI.

"Assam's long struggle against illegal immigration has been nullified with just this one act. This act will also open the doors for 1.7 crore Hindus living in Bangladesh to cross over to Assam. There is no other option but to fight against this act with full force. It has to be an all-encompassing protest," he said.

Chief advisor of All Assam Students’ Union and North East Students’ Organisation Samujjal Bhattacharjya told PTI that the AASU will not accept the CAA and will continue to protest against it.

“We are already in talks with our advocates and will continue our legal fight against its implementation,'' he said.

Muslims on CAA

Muslim groups say the law, combined with a proposed national register of citizens, can discriminate against India's 200 million Muslims - the world's third-largest Muslim population. They fear the government might remove the citizenship of Muslims without documents in some border states.

Centre has denied it is anti-Muslim and has said that the law is needed to help minorities facing persecution in Muslim-majority nations.

It said that the law is meant to grant citizenship, not take it away from anyone, and has called the earlier protests politically motivated.

(With agency inputs)


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First Published:11 Mar 2024, 08:09 PM IST
HomePoliticsNews’Date chosen before Ramadan, ’designed to polarise’: Political parties react to CAA implementation

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