CAA to cover entire nation within 7 days: Union Minister’s bold ‘guarantee’

| Updated: 29 January, 2024 8:43 pm IST
Union Minister Shantanu Thakur (Image credit: X)

NEW DELHI: Union Minister Shantanu Thakur has asserted that the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) will be enforced nationwide within the coming week. Speaking in Bengali at a public event in Kakdwip, South 24 Parganas in Bengal, Thakur stated, “I can guarantee that in the next seven days, not just in West Bengal, but the CAA will be implemented across India.”

Shantanu Thakur also criticised the Trinamool Congress (TMC) government in Bengal, led by party supremo and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

The BJP leader questioned the government’s assertion that possessing a voter ID and Aadhaar card qualifies one as a citizen eligible to vote. In light of this, the leader asked why there are reports of thousands of people being denied their voting rights.

“This government tells you that if you have a voter and an Aadhaar card, you’re a citizen of this country and can register your votes. If that is the case, then why do I hear that thousands of people here have been deprived of their right to vote? The Chief Minister has to answer why they have been deprived,” the BJP leader said.

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Mamata Banerjee has responded to Shantanu Thakur’s comments, asserting that the BJP seeks votes through intimidation.

“They (BJP) are shouting CAA, this is politics. We have given citizenship to everyone (and) they (people of border areas) are getting everything. They are citizens, which is why they are allowed to vote,” the CM said during her address in Cooch Behar.

She also asked the people of border regions not to accept the “identity cards” offered by the BJP – referencing the CAA.

“Don’t take the fake card. Tell them we have a voter ID card and an Aadhaar card. If you accept it, you will fall under NRC (National Register of Citizens),” Banerjee said in Cooch Behar.

TMC spokesperson and West Bengal Minister, Shashi Panja, also criticised Thakur’s remarks, affirming that the state government would vehemently oppose the enforcement of the CAA in the area.

“Shantanu Thakur should ask himself how confident he is about CAA’s implementation. He knows that CAA will not be implemented. They always say things to mislead people before elections,” she told Aaj Tak.

Shashi Panja added that Mamata Banerjee has previously declared that the CAA will not be enforced in Bengal, emphasizing that there is no requirement for such legislation. “They are already citizens of India. Even the BJP does not speak much about CAA. Shantanu Thakur knows what is happening is wrong. He must be feeling guilty,” she remarked.

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BJP MP for Bangaon in Bengal, Shantanu Thakur, reiterated the statements made by Home Minister Amit Shah regarding the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA).

In December of the previous year, Amit Shah declared that the central government led by the BJP would enforce the CAA, asserting that “no one can prevent it.” His comments were directed towards Mamata Banerjee, who has consistently opposed the CAA.

In a significant gathering at Kolkata’s renowned Esplanade, Amit Shah delivered a speech where he strongly criticised Banerjee on matters such as infiltration, corruption, political violence, and appeasement. He called on the people to remove her government from Bengal and vote for the BJP in the 2026 Assembly elections.

He provided clarification on the intended recipients, emphasising that they possess an equal right to citizenship as any other person.

Following its approval in both parliamentary chambers and receiving the President’s assent in 2019, CAA has become the focal point of widespread protests across India, drawing significant opposition.

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