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Implementing CAA Before 2024 General Elections: Amit Shah’s Assertion

Implementing CAA Before 2024 General Elections: Amit Shah’s Assertion

On 10th February 2024, Union Home Minister Amit Shah stated that the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) will be notified and implemented before the 2024 General Elections. Shah emphasized that the CAA is an act to provide citizenship and not to take away anyone’s citizenship, and that it aims to confer Indian citizenship to persecuted non-Muslim migrants. CAA was passed by the Parliament in December 2019.

Under the CAA, the government wants to grant Indian nationality to persecuted non-Muslim migrants – Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis and Christians – from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan who arrived in India till December 31, 2014

What is the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) 2019?

The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 was enacted through India’s Parliament of India on 11th December 2019. The Act amended the Citizenship Act 1955 by offering a path toward Indian Citizenship for minority religions from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan: Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, or Christians who arrived in India before the end of December 2014. The law does not provide this kind of Citizenship to Muslims in these Muslim-majority nations. This marked the first occasion religion was utilized as a criterion to be a citizen under Indian law and drew international criticism.

With the 2019 amendment, migrants who entered India on or before 31 December 2014 and experienced “religious discrimination or fear of persecution for their religion” in their country of origin became eligible for Citizenship. The amendment also eased the residence requirement for naturalization of those who have migrated to India from 12 years to 6. As per Intelligence Bureau records, more than 30000 people will benefit from the bill.

CAA Implementation Assured

Amit Shah reassured the implementation of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) before the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, emphasizing the issuance of rules pertaining to the Act. He clarified that the CAA aims to provide citizenship to individuals persecuted in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh, dispelling misconceptions and asserting that it does not infringe upon the citizenship rights of any Indian, including Muslims.

Electoral Projections

Shah projected a massive victory for the BJP-led NDA in the upcoming polls, confidently stating that the BJP alone would secure 370 seats, while the NDA would surpass the 400-mark. He expressed certainty over the electoral outcome, suggesting that even opposition parties, including the Congress, are cognizant of their impending defeat.

NDA Expansion

In response to queries regarding the potential inclusion of regional parties like the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) into the NDA fold, Shah hinted at the BJP’s openness to coalition expansion. However, he emphasized that the BJP prioritizes strategic alliances based on merit and ideological alignment, steering clear of opportunistic political maneuvering.

Election Dynamics

Shah framed the upcoming elections as a choice between development and mere rhetoric, emphasizing the BJP’s commitment to substantive progress and contrasting it with the opposition’s hollow promises. He dismissed Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra, attributing partition to the Nehru-Gandhi lineage and questioning their moral authority to lead such initiatives.

Timing of White Paper

Addressing concerns regarding the timing of the government’s white paper in Parliament, Shah justified its necessity by highlighting the need for transparency regarding the economic landscape inherited from the UPA regime. He underscored the government’s success in revitalizing the economy, attracting foreign investment, and combating corruption, positioning the white paper as a testament to their achievements.

Ram Temple and Uniform Civil Code

Shah reiterated the BJP’s commitment to building the Ram temple in Ayodhya, citing historical and religious significance. He criticized past political hindrances and emphasized the importance of upholding constitutional agendas like the Uniform Civil Code (UCC), signaling a departure from religion-based civil laws.

Way Forward

Amit Shah’s assertions offer insight into the BJP’s electoral strategy, policy priorities, and ideological stance. From the assured implementation of the CAA to electoral projections and governance agendas, Shah’s statements underscore the BJP’s assertiveness and vision for India’s future.

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