New Delhi, Nov 27, 2023: Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra Sunday said the final draft of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act or CAA is expected to be ready by March 30 next year. He was addressing the Matua community in West Bengal and asserted that nobody can snatch citizenship rights from them.
Matuas, who had fled religious persecution in Bangladesh, trace their ancestry to East Bengal. Many of them are said to have entered West Bengal after Partition and after the formation of Bangladesh.
“The process to roll out CAA has gained momentum in the last couple of years… some issues are being sorted out. Nobody can snatch citizenship rights from the Matuas. By March next year, the final draft of the CAA is expected to be ready for coming into force,” the BJP MP from Uttar Pradesh said at Thakurnagar in North 24 Parganas district.
Speaking to news agency PTI, TMC Rajya Sabha MP Santanu Sen said, “The BJP remembers Matuas and the CAA only during elections. The saffron party will never be able to roll out CAA in West Bengal.” He added that the saffron party will be “rejected by all” in the 2024 elections as the Matuas and other communities are recognising the “BJP’s false claims.”
Matuas are Namasudras, a Scheduled Caste group with a presence in at least six parliamentary seats. The Namasudras form one of the largest chunks of SCs in Bengal, comprising 17.4 per cent of the population, behind Rajbanshis (18.4 per cent), as per the 2001 Census data.
Getting citizenship is one of the long-standing demands of this refugee community. In a bid to get their support again, the BJP, in its manifesto for West Bengal Assembly polls last year, promised to implement CAA in the first cabinet if it is voted to power in the state.
The CAA seeks to grant Indian citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan entering India before December 31, 2014.
Courtesy: Indian Express