CAA will be implemented before Lok Sabha polls, says Home Minister Amit Shah

by Abbas Adil

The rules for implementing the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) will be issued before the coming Lok Sabha polls and the process to grant Indian nationality to the beneficiaries will start soon after, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said here on Saturday.

Under the CAA, the Modi government wants to grant Indian nationality to persecuted non-Muslim migrants –  Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis and Christians – from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan who had come to India till December 31, 2014.

The CAA is a law of the country and its notification will definitely be issued. It will be issued before the polls. The CAA will be implemented before the elections. No one should have any confusion about it,” Shah said at the ET NOW Global Business Summit 2024.

He said granting Indian citizenship to persecuted minorities of the neighbouring countries was a promise of the Congress leadership too.

When the Partition happened – Hindus, Buddhists, Christians – all wanted to come to India after facing religious persecution there. They (Congress leaders) had promised to give citizenship to these people saying all of you are welcome. But the (Congress) leaders went back on their word,” Shah said.

The Home Minister said he wanted to make it clear that the CAA is not a law to snatch anyone’s citizenship.

“Our Muslim brothers are being instigated on the issue of CAA.

CAA can’t snatch anyone’s citizenship as the law does not have that provision. CAA has been enacted to give citizenship to those people who have come from Bangladesh and Pakistan after facing religious persecution. No one should oppose this law,” he said.

Shah asserted that there is no suspense over the outcome of the Lok Sabha polls and even the Congress and other Opposition parties have realised that they will again have to sit in the opposition benches.

“We have abrogated Article 370 (of the Constitution, which gave a special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir). So we believe that the people of the country will bless the BJP with 370 seats and the NDA with over 400 seats,” Shah said at the ET NOW Global Business Summit 2024.

Asked about the possibility of the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), headed by Jayant Choudhary, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and some other regional parties joining the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), the Home Minister said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) “believes in family planning but not in politics”, giving an indication that more parties may join the ruling coalition.

When pressed further on the SAD, he said, “Talks are going on but nothing has been finalised.”

Shah said the 2024 polls will not be an election between the NDA and the INDIA opposition bloc, but between development and those who give mere slogans.

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