KOLKATA: Bengal BJP leaders are uneasy over the “six-year residence clause” which is likely to be mentioned in the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB) and favour its removal.
While BJP is yet to take an official stand, discussions within are at a fever pitch as the CAB is likely to be re-introduced in the winter session of Parliament.BJP leaders say party functionaries are pitching for the removal of the clause in the backdrop of an aggressive Trinamool campaign where Mamata Banerjee highlights it.“It is hurting us. Even Hindus in districts bordering Bangladesh are scared and influenced by her,” said a leader.
State BJP’s general secretary Sayantan Bose said, instead of the six-year residence clause, there should be a provision to ensure that if someone has entered India to save his religion and honour, he or she should just submit an affidavit, which can be procedurally verified before granting citizenship.
Another said the party asked them to make people aware of the CAB “but we are yet to start the drive because we are not sure what people would ask us and what our reply should be.”
‘BJP yet to decide’
BJP’s West Bengal unit president Dilip Ghosh said the party was yet to take its stand on this particular clause. “These views are part of the leaders’ personal opinion. It has not been even discussed in our party meeting,” he said.