NEW DELHI: The BJP’s key poll plank of implementing the Citizenship Amendment Act is still far from being a reality. It will take at least another four months to become applicable. The BJP has promised implementation of the controversial legislation during campaigning for the upcoming Assembly polls, but the committee on subordinate legislation is yet to notify the rules of application.
The CAA was notified on December 12, 2019. Rules necessary for the implementation of any new or amended law are normally framed within six months of its enactment. The Committees on Subordinate Legislation, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, have granted time up to April 9 and July 9, respectively, to frame rules under the citizenship law, Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai told Lok Sabha on Tuesday.
Rai was responding to a question posed by Congress MP VK Sreekandan, who asked whether the process of granting citizenship to refugees would begin after Covid-19 vaccination is over. Rai said foreigners covered under CAA may submit applications for citizenship after appropriate rules are notified by the Central government.
Assembly elections in West Bengal, Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry will start from March 27. Among these places, CAA is the most contentious issue in Assam and Bengal as these states have a sizeable population of refugees and illegal immigrants from neighbouring countries.
According to the Act, non-Muslims such as members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan till December 31, 2014, facing religious persecution will not be treated as immigrants but given citizenship.