CAA rules notified by Centre right before announcement of LS polls

The rules for the CAA which was cleared by the Centre in 2019 had faced a lot of protests. Now finally, the rules for the implementation of CAA have been notified by the government at centre.
CAA rules notified by Centre right before announcement of LS polls

The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) rules were announced by the Union Home Ministry on Monday, just before the Lok Sabha elections schedule was set to be revealed. Now, the entire process will be done online, and people can apply using their smartphones.

The Act was passed in December 2019 and sparked protests across the country due to its provisions. The Bill aims to grant Indian citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, and Christians who migrated from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh due to religious persecution. However, it does not include Muslims.

The law was passed by the Lok Sabha on December 9, 2019, and by the Rajya Sabha two days later. It received the President’s approval on December 12, 2019.

In January, Union Minister Shantanu Thakur announced that the CAA would be implemented nationwide within the next seven days. Shortly after, senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader in West Bengal, Suvendu Adhikari, stated that the CAA would be enforced by February. These statements followed a similar commitment made by Union Home Minister Amit Shah in December 2023.

On December 26, during a gathering of party workers in Bengal, Shah reiterated the government's commitment to the CAA. He emphasized that the law would provide citizenship to everyone, despite criticism from Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

The delay in implementing the CAA by the Modi government was due to various factors, including widespread protests against the legislation. The strongest protests occurred in BJP-ruled Assam and Tripura, where even the Hindu community opposed the law, fearing it would legitimize the influx of Bangladeshi migrants.

In Assam, the CAA is viewed as a violation of the 1985 Assam Accord, which stated that only foreigners who arrived in the state before March 24, 1971, would be considered citizens. However, the CAA sets the cut-off date for citizenship at December 31, 2014. Additionally, it contradicts the entire process of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) enumeration in Assam, which aimed to identify and expel illegal immigrants.

Tripura has also experienced a significant demographic shift, transitioning from a tribal-dominated state to one where Bengalis, many of whom are migrants, now form the majority.