In Bengal, Amit Shah says will implement CAA as soon as Covid wave ends
Union home minister Amit Shah on Thursday said that the Centre will implement the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) as soon as the ongoing coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19) ends.
Speaking at a public gathering in West Bengal's Siliguri, Shah added that the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) government in the eastern state is spreading rumours that the CAA will not be implemented. The home minister, who is on a two-day visit to Bengal, said that chief minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee wants the refugees who came to the state to not get citizenship.
“Mamata didi only wants the infiltration [to] continue…But TMC people should listen minutely [when I say] that CAA was, is and will be a reality,” Shah told the gathering.
The passing of CAA in late 2019 triggered massive protests across the country, including the Delhi riots, before the country went into series of lockdowns owing to the emergence of Covid-19 in March 2020.
The law allows persecuted minorities hailing from the Hindu, Sikh, Christian, Parsi and Buddhist communities from neighbouring countries of Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan to avail of Indian citizenship.
During his address, Shah also thanked the people to Bengal for helping the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) increase its seats in the state assembly from three to 77 in the 2021 Assembly elections.
Attacking the TMC, he said that the saffron camp thought “Didi will get better” after her party won the assembly elections in Bengal for the third time last year. “But corruption, syndicate, and killings of BJP workers are yet to stop. Mamata Didi shouldn't think that BJP won't fight back,” Shah added.
The home minister is on his first visit to the eastern state following the 2021 polls where Mamata led her party to register a landslide triumph. Earlier in the day, Shah inaugurated the Border Security Force (BSF) border out posts at Hingalganj in Sunderbans area of North 24 Parganas district. He also flagged off a boat ambulance and inaugurated a Maitri museum.
While addressing the BSF personnel at the Prahari Sammelan, the minister took a veiled jibe at Banerjee-led TMC government over keeping the borders of Bengal free from smuggling and infiltration.
Soon after, the Bengal CM lashed out at Shah without naming him for his comments on the state's law and order situation. “It is not right to malign everyone. In a state with a population of 110 million, if five incidents take place, I would be happy if you condemn those five incidents and demand that the guilty be hanged. But it is not right to put everyone on the dock…West Bengal is better than any other state,” she said at an event to celebrate 11 years in power in the eastern state.
Shah's Bengal itinerary, meanwhile, will see him visit the Teen Bigha and interact with BSF personnel a BoP Jhikabari in Cooch Behar district on Friday.