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‘No state CM can refuse it, only Central govt has the right to make citizenship laws’: Amit Shah on Mamata, Stalin’s statements on CAA

"Do you have the right that you can refuse its implementation? They also understand that they do not have the rights. In our Constitution, the right to make laws concerning citizenship has been given only to Parliament. This is a Central subject, not the state's, both the law and its implementation," Amit Shah said.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah has questioned some Chief Ministers of non-BJP ruled states who have been opposing the implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Act and claiming that they would not allow its implementation in their state. The Home Minister asserted that the CAA does not violate any provision of the constitution and only the central government is empowered to enact laws concerning citizenship and implement them.

In an interview with ANI, Amit Shah said that CAA has been brought by the Modi government and “it is impossible to repeal it”. He accused the opposition leaders of practicing “politics of appeasement”.

“Do you have the right that you can refuse its implementation? They also understand that they do not have the rights. In our Constitution, the right to make laws concerning citizenship has been given only to Parliament. This is a Central subject, not the state’s, both the law and its implementation,” Amit Shah said.

He asserted that all political parties would come on board and cooperate after the Lok Sabha election.

“Article 11 of our Constitution gives all the powers to make rules regarding citizenship to the Parliament. I think everyone will cooperate after the elections. They are spreading misinformation for appeasement politics,” he said.

The Centre notified the rules for implementation of CAA earlier this week. The bill was passed by Parliament in December 2019, the first year of the second successive term of the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

With the Centre notifying rules for CAA implementation, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan slammed the law and said they will not implement it in their states. The Congress has slammed the Centre over the timing of implementation of CAA, saying the rules have been notified ahead of Lok Sabha polls expected to be held in April-May this year.

Asked about remarks from a Congress leader that CAA will be repealed if the INDIA alliance comes to power in 2024, Amit Shah targeted the opposition bloc and said they also know they will not come to power.

“CAA has been brought by the BJP government led by PM Modi. It is impossible to repeal CAA…It is a fully constitutional law,” he said.

Answering a query about remarks made by PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti concerning CAA, he said the Supreme Court has not stayed the law. He also targeted her over Article 370, saying that it was also challenged in court decades back but it continued to be used till it was repealed by the BJP-led government.

Amit Shah also challenged former Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to make his stand clear on the implementation of CAA.

“I want to ask Uddhav Thackeray to make it clear whether CAA should be implemented or not. He wants minority votes and is doing appeasement politics,” he said

“All opposition parties including Asaduddin Owaisi, Rahul Gandhi, Arvind Kejriwal, Mamata Banerjee are doing politics of lies. There is no question of timing. BJP said in its manifesto in 2019 that we will bring CAA and give citizenship to refugees from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan…In 2019, it was passed by both Houses but got delayed due to Covid…The opposition wants to do appeasement politics and wants to consolidate their vote bank. They have been exposed and the people of the country know that CAA is the law of this country. I have said 41 times that it would be implemented before the elections,” he added.

The Home Minister said there is no need for any section or any person to fear because there is no provision in CAA to take away anyone’s citizenship.

“CAA is only to give rights to Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, Sikhs, Christians and Parsi refugees from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan…”

Answering a query, he said those who get citizenship under CAA will be added to the citizenship list like every common citizen of India. “They will have as many rights as you or I have. They can contest elections and become MP, MLA, CM and Ministers.”

“All those people who have entered India between August 15, 1947 and December 31, 2014 are welcome here. As per my knowledge, there are 85 per cent people who have relevant documents. We will find a solution for those who don’t have the documents. Even Muslims have the right to apply for citizenship in India under the rules of the Constitution,” he added.

Referring to Congress governments in the past, he said they have a history of not fulfilling their promises.

“The opposition has no other work, they even said that there was political benefit in surgical strikes and air strikes, so should we not take action against terrorism? They also said that the abrogation of Article 370 was also for our political benefit. We have been saying since 1950 that we will remove Article 370. Their history is that they do not do what they say, PM Modi’s history is that whatever BJP has said, whatever Narendra Modi has said is set in stone. Every guarantee given by PM Modi will be fulfilled,” he said.

He said Congress leaders at the time of partition had said that people who had faced persecution can come.

“When you partition the country on the basis of religion, and those minorities (in those countries) who faced persecution, they are being converted, women of the minority section were being tortured and came to India. They came to our refuge; don’t they have a right to get our citizenship?”

“But due to appeasement politics, Congress never fulfilled its promise…I believe it is our moral and constitutional responsibility to give refuge to those who are persecuted on the basis of religion,” he said.

Citizenship (Amendment) Rules, 2024 enable persons eligible under CAA-2019 to apply for the grant of Indian citizenship and applications are to be submitted in a completely online mode for which a web portal has been provided by the government.

The Centre notified the rules for implementing the Citizenship Amendment Act on Monday.

The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, seeks to grant Indian citizenship to refugees who had sought shelter in India before December 31, 2014, due to religious persecution in three neighbouring countries–Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, of six minority communities there.

The CAA removes legal barriers to rehabilitation and citizenship and gives a dignified life to refugees “who have suffered for decades”. 

(This news report is published from a syndicated feed. Except for the headline, the content has not been written or edited by OpIndia staff)

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