NEW DELHI: Amit Shah’s appointment as the Home Minister will probably mean taking tough decisions such as implementing the NRC across the country and annulling Article 35A in Jammu and Kashmir.
Efforts will also be made to pass the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB), another key promise made by BJP.
Also, a push for abrogating Article 370 is expected.
Experts said it was difficult to say if the government would be able to achieve these tasks because there are legal and practical hurdles. However, the government will certainly push these issues because they brought it huge electoral gains.
The BJP in its manifesto had said it was “committed to annulling Article 35A” which grants special rights and privileges to the natives of Jammu and Kashmir.
Shah has been the most vocal and strident voice on such issues.
He has reiterated his party’s position since the time of the Jan Sangh for the abrogation of Article 370, which allows a separate flag and constitution for the state.
On illegal immigration, Shah has promised the adoption of NRC across the country.
Currently, the NRC is being updated in Assam.
Political commentator Mahendra Lama had earlier told this newspaper that countrywide NRC did not seem like a good idea when there was a lot of confusion over the process. At his poll rally at Raiganj in West Bengal, Shah had likened illegal immigrants to “termites”.
Executive Director of the Institute for Conflict Management Ajai Sahni said the government will need a two-thirds majority in both Houses to pass the CAB and to abrogate Article 35 A and 370.
“They have a nearly two-thirds majority in the Lok Sabha but they are far from it the Rajya Sabha. It is not even credible to believe that they can pass these laws. They don’t have the numbers. Also, for fulfilling the promise on Articles 35 A and 370, they need to pass the proposal through state assemblies too,” Sahni said.
He asserted that these promises were “election driven”.
The Citizenship Amendment Bill seeks to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955 and ease the process of granting citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians who fled Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Anti-CAB campaigners say that the Bill is anti-Muslim and against the spirit of the Assam Accord.