The Centre will implement the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) once the vaccination drive to counter Covid-19 concludes in the country, Union Home minister Amit Shah told Suvendu Adhikary, Leader of Opposition in the West Bengal Assembly on Tuesday.
The Act, which seeks to provide Indian citizenship to illegal migrants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan who are Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians and had entered India on or before December 31, 2014, was passed by Parliament on December 11, 2019, and notified the next day. While the Centre is yet to frame rules for the Act amid protests from different quarters, including the northeastern states, Shah has consistently maintained the CAA will be rolled out.
Shah’s assurance to Adhikary came when the two leaders met at the Home minister’s office in Parliament today. After the meeting, Adhikary said that the Home minister had assured him that the CAA will be implemented once the nationwide campaign to administer the third dose of the Covid-19 vaccination concludes, reported The Indian Express.
Taking to Twitter, Adhikary wrote that he had taken up issues related to the West Bengal government in wake of the teachers’ recruitment scam and also appealed to the Home minister to implement CAA at the earliest.
“It’s an honour for me to meet Hon’ble Union Home Minister Shri Amit Shah Ji for 45 minutes at his office in Parliament. I briefed him how WB govt is completely mired in corrupt activities such as the Teachers recruitment scam. Also requested him to implement CAA at the earliest (sic),” he tweeted.
The CAA has been a major bone of contention between the ruling BJP government at the Centre and the Trinamool Congress-led state government. While Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has said her government will not allow its implementation, the BJP had aggressively campaigned in its favour in the run-up to the elections in the state in 2021.
In February this year, BJP MLA Asim Sarkar had warned that the BJP would suffer consequences if CAA and the National Register of Citizens were not implemented in West Bengal.
The Centre has said that citizenship to the eligible beneficiaries of CAA will be given only after rules under the legislation are notified.