Union Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways Shantanu Thakur has said that the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) will be implemented across India in a week’s time. He was addressing a BJP rally at South 24 Parganas in West Bengal during a BJP rally on January 29.
“The Ram temple has been inaugurated, and within the next seven days, CAA will be implemented across the country. This is my guarantee. Not just in West Bengal, the CAA would be implemented in every state of India within a week,” he said. However, the Union Government has made no official announcement.
The minister further said, “Let me tell you, we need to secure the futures of our generations. Otherwise they will be thrown out of the country like Rohingyas. Hence, implementation of CAA is a must.”
The CAA Bill was passed in the parliament in 2019 with an overwhelming majority of 311: 80. It aimed to expedite the process of granting Indian citizenship to persecuted Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis, and Christians from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, who entered India till December 31, 2014. However, it triggered massive protests as the move was discriminatory against Muslims, especially when seen together with the National Register of Citizenship (NRC) and the National Population Register (NPR). Shaheen Bagh in New Delhi became an iconic protest site for the movement against CAA and inspired similar, countless sit-ins in various cities and towns across India.
According to a PTI report, a senior official from the Union government had indicated that the CAA rules are ready and will likely be implemented before the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. However, the Union Home Ministry has reportedly sought an extension for another six months to frame the rules.