Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], October 19 (ANI): Congress leader Milind Deora has said that the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 was a political gimmick to win elections in India and was not intended to safeguard religious minority rights in the subcontinent as the government has not yet not come up with its rules.
Speaking to ANI, Deora said, "Two years ago, the government of India had brought this bill in the parliament. Many political parties and different sections of society proposed it and opposed it. But, the GOI has still not come up with its rules. It's still not been implemented. This was the reason I called it a 'political gimmick' to win elections in India."
He further took a jibe at the Centre for introducing this bill and said that the ruling government only wanted to prove to the majority community that it is there to help them. "The bill was only introduced to polarise the voters with a sense that the government is there to help them. Was it really done to protect the minorities of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh? If yes, then why it has not still implemented the act with the proper rules."
He also stated that the Congress party is not against protecting minorities; rather it is against this political gimmick. "It is not the matter of Hindu or Muslim, BJP or Congress, rather it is a matter of humanity.
Deora further appealed to the central government to come up and amend the bill to protect minorities who are suffering in these three countries. "Minorities in the subcontinent are facing atrocities. They must be wanting to flee the country. I appeal to the Centre to amend and implement this law if it has been introduced to protect the minorities," he added.
His clarifications came after his own tweets, in which he said that CAA was a political gimmick to win elections in India, not to safeguard religious minority rights in the subcontinent. "Why haven't CAA rules been framed for two years? Has a single Afghan Sikh or Bangladeshi Hindu fleeing persecution been given citizenship so far?" Deora said in a tweet on Monday.
"Bangladesh's escalating communal violence is extremely worrying. CAA must be amended to protect and rehabilitate Bangladeshi Hindus fleeing religious persecution. India must also reject and thwart any communal attempt to equate Indian Muslims with Bangladeshi Islamists," he further tweeted.
The CAA allows persecuted minorities belonging to the Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist, Parsi, and Christian communities from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan to avail of Indian citizenship.
According to the provisions of the act, people belonging to these communities who arrived in India till December 31, 2014, due to religious persecution in these three countries will not be treated as illegal migrants but will be provided with Indian citizenship.
If a person belongs to the aforementioned faiths, from these three countries, does not have proof of birth of parents, they can apply for Indian citizenship after six years of residence in India.
President Ram Nath Kovind gave his assent to the legislation on December 12, 2019.
The Opposition parties and several groups have protested against the implementation of CAA. CAA's detractors believe that the law coupled with the National Register of Citizens (NRC) exercise is intended to target the minorities in India. (ANI)