Shantanu Thakur: CAA to be Implemented in 7 Days; Mamata Criticizes as Political Move, Asserts Citizenship for All

Union Minister Shantanu Thakur affirmed on Sunday that he guarantees the implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) across the country within 7 days. Thakur addressed a rally in Kakdwip, South 24 Parganas. He stated that not only in West Bengal but across the nation, CAA will be enforced within the next 7 days. Thakur represents the BJP as a Member of Parliament from Bangaon.

Mamata Banerjee Criticizes BJP’s CAA Agenda

In response to this, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee remarked that the BJP is creating a clamor about CAA. She labeled it as their political strategy. Banerjee emphasized that citizenship has been granted to all, and those residing in border areas are being provided with everything. They are citizens of the state and thus have the right to vote.

Uttarakhand Prepares for Uniform Citizenship Act

Meanwhile, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami announced that the committee formed regarding the Uniform Citizenship Act will submit its report to the state government on February 2. Following this draft, a bill will be introduced in the upcoming legislative assembly session to implement the Uniform Citizenship Act in the state.

CAA Bill

Amit Shah Asserts: No One Can Halt the Implementation of CAA

Before this, during a rally in Kolkata last December, Home Minister Amit Shah had also stated that no one can stop the implementation of CAA. Amit Shah had criticized Mamata Banerjee on issues of infiltration, corruption, political violence, and appeasement. He urged the people to remove the Mamata government from Bengal and elect BJP in the 2026 assembly elections.

Mamata responded to Shah’s statement saying that they aim to divide people. Initially, the responsibility of citizenship cards lay with the district magistrate, but now it has been snatched only for political purposes. They want to give it to some and deprive others of it. If one community is getting citizenship, others should also receive it.

Home Minister Amit Shah had said in Kolkata in December 2023 that the Bengal government was discriminating in granting citizenship.

Citizenship Amendment Bill Passed in 2019 by Both Houses of Parliament

On December 11, 2019, the Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019 (CAB) received 125 votes in favor and 99 votes against it in the Rajya Sabha. The following day, on December 12, 2019, it obtained the President’s approval. Amid significant opposition nationwide, the bill took the form of law after passing through both houses. Home Minister Amit Shah had introduced it in the Lok Sabha on December 9, 2019.

Amendments Made to the 1955 Law

In 2016, the Citizenship Amendment Bill 2016 (CAA) was introduced, aiming to amend certain provisions of the 1955 law. These amendments primarily focused on granting citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from three neighboring Muslim-majority countries: Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. On August 12, 2016, the bill was referred to a Joint Parliamentary Committee. The committee submitted its report on January 7, 2019.

Violent Outbursts Erupted Amidst Opposition, Claiming Over 50 Lives

Even before its introduction in the Lok Sabha, the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAA) was steeped in controversy. However, upon its enactment, opposition to the law intensified dramatically. Protests erupted in several areas of Delhi. On the night of February 23, 2020, violence erupted and clashes broke out at the Jafrabad metro station amidst gathering crowds, resulting in more than 50 fatalities.

There was fierce opposition to the Citizenship Amendment Act in many parts of the country and the agitators demanded the Center to withdraw it.

Opposition to CAA Ratified in Four States’ Legislative Assemblies

Following the passage of the CAA bill in both houses of Parliament, four states have ratified proposals in their respective legislative assemblies opposing the act. Firstly, in December 2019, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan presented a proposal against the CAA, stating that it contradicts secular principles and undermines the fabric of the nation. He emphasized concerns about discrimination based on religious grounds in granting citizenship.

Subsequently, the governments of Punjab and Rajasthan passed proposals against the CAA in their legislative assemblies. The fourth state was West Bengal, where a proposal against the bill’s provisions was passed amidst opposition. The Chief Minister of West Bengal asserted, “We will not allow CAA, NPR, and NRC in Bengal.”

Niyati Rao

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