Modi Govt. Notifies Rules for CAA Implementation Ahead of Lok Sabha Polls

The Central government on Monday notified the rules for implementation of the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) 2019. This will now pave the way for granting Indian citizenship to undocumented migrants from minority communities in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan, according to the notification.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah in a post on ‘X’ said, “These rules will now enable minorities persecuted on religious grounds in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan to acquire citizenship in our nation.”

“With this notification PM @narendramodi Ji has delivered on another commitment and realized the promise of the makers of our constitution to the Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, and Christians living in those countries,” Shah noted.

The Congress and other opposition parties, however, slammed the government’s move, alleging that it was designed to polarize the coming Lok Sabha elections, especially in West Bengal and Assam.

With the rules being notified under the CAA, the government will now start granting Indian citizenship to persecuted non-Muslim migrants from the neighboring Islamic countries - Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan - who have come to India on or before December 31, 2014. The decision has come nearly a month ahead of the elections for the Lok Sabha.

In the notification, the MHA said, “These rules, called the Citizenship (Amendment) Rules, 2024 will enable the persons eligible under CAA-2019 to apply for the grant of Indian citizenship. The applications will be submitted in a completely online mode for which a web portal has been provided.”

According to the rules, an applicant has to upload on the portal “affidavit verifying the correctness of the statements made in the application along with an affidavit from an Indian citizen testifying the character of the applicant” and also “a declaration… that he/she has adequate knowledge of one of the languages as specified in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution”.

It said, “Every application made by the applicant shall have a declaration to the effect that the citizenship of his country shall stand renounced irrevocably in the event of his application being approved…”

Furthermore, while sharing an explainer on the CAA, the MHA said, “The Constitution of India grants us the right to provide religious prosecuted refugees with fundamental rights and to grant citizenship from a humanitarian perspective.”

The CAA was passed in December 2019 and subsequently got then President Ramnath Kovind’s assent but this led to violent protests in several parts of the country with many opposition parties speaking out against the law calling it “discriminatory”. The law could not come into effect as rules had not been notified till now.

Over 100 people lost their lives during the anti-CAA protests. On Monday, security was stepped up in Shaheen Bagh, Jamia, and other areas of the national capital as well as in various states where anti-CAA protests were held in the past.

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