Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Nisith Pramanik has claimed that the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) would be implemented soon in West Bengal.
During a public meeting at Mathabhanga in Cooch Behar district on Sunday, Pramanik said, “Hindus were driven out of Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan. CAA was brought in to give citizenship to such people. The law doesn’t take away anyone’s citizenship. Soon this law will be implemented in the country. This will be implemented in West Bengal as well.”
The Union minister’s remarks came after Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari recently said the law would become a reality in the state. This is being seen by some as a bid to keep the issue alive ahead of the coming panchayat polls in the state.
On Saturday, Adhikari, while addressing a public meeting on CAA at Thakurnagar in North 24 Parganas district, said, “CAA is a much-debated issue. We are proud that it has been implemented in a place in Gujarat. CAA will be implemented here [in West Bengal] too. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee needs to hear this: It will be implemented soon. I challenge her… if she has guts, stop its implementation.”
The Trinamool Congress has always opposed the CAA and on several occasions taken out protest rallies on the matter. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has maintained that her government would not let the law be implemented in the state and said that refugees who arrived in the country before 1971 are already citizens of the country.
Criticising Pramanik’s remarks on CAA, TMC state general secretary Kunal Ghosh said on Monday, “Whenever there is an election, the BJP raises the CAA issue. If they want to mislead the people, rest assured they will bring up the CAA. This is their tactic. We have a very clear stand on this. The law will not be implemented in West Bengal. Be it CAA or NRC. Those who have their names on the voters’ list are citizens of this country. The law has been brought forward for the purpose of misusing it on the people. This will only create division among the people. This will not be allowed in Bengal.”