Union Home Minister Amit Shah said on Thursday that the Centre will start giving citizenship to non-Muslim refugees in India under the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) once the process of COVID-19 vaccination is over.
Addressing a massive election rally in poll-bound West Bengal, Shah also alleged that the Mamata Banerjee-led government was opposing the implementation of the CAA in the state.
Thakurnagar is home to several lakhs of people belonging to Matua community, one of the largest refugee communities in West Bengal.
Shah accused Banerjee of creating confusion among the people in West Bengal over the CAA.
“Look how she tried to block it. She even went on to say that she would prevent it (implementation of the CAA) till her last breath,” said Shah.
The implementation of the CAA might benefit the BJP in West Bengal, but the same would bring brickbats for the party in Assam. The BJP has gone slow in implementing the law since it fears massive protests in poll-bound Assam where the party is in power.
The home minister launched a number of projects at Thakurnagar, including a pension scheme for elders in dalit communities. He also named a railway station after a religious leader of Matua community.
The Matua community had earlier conducted a series of protests in Thakurnagar when Shah’s last month meeting got cancelled due to a blast in Delhi. BJP MP Santanu Thakur, who also hails from the community, called up senior BJP leader Mukul Roy and sought his immediate intervention. It was Roy who, along with another senior leader Kailash Vijayvargiya, reached Thakurnagar to placate the protesters.
Though the Matuas are happy after Shah’s trip to Thakurnagar on Thursday, many of them are not much impressed as the home minister did not give them a specific date for the implementation of the CAA.