CAA just a political gimmick before LS polls: Mamata Banerjee

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CAA just a political gimmick before LS polls: Mamata Banerjee

Kolkata:  Soon after the Union Home Ministry on Monday issued a notification for the implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee termed the announcement as a ‘political gimmick’ ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

“Had the Union government been so serious about CAA, they could have notified it earlier. Why did they notify CAA just before the Lok Sabha elections? We will study the notification first and then announce our next course of action. But one thing is clear, if there is discrimination — religious or caste-based — I will not tolerate that,” CM Banerjee told mediapersons on Monday evening.

She also called the CAA a tool to hoodwink the people before the elections since granting citizenship is not an easy task.

“If people from all religions enroll in the CAA portal, will that be effective? How can the BJP raise questions over the citizenship of people who voted them to power? I have my doubts about CAA. I request the people not to be scared. There will be no CAA in West Bengal,” the Chief Minister said.

Banerjee has been opposing the CAA for quite some time now. According to her, CAA is a tool in the hands of the BJP with the sole aim of polarising the voters.

However, she played it safe on Monday as she said that she will “oppose CAA if there is discrimination against any religion or caste” in the notification. Some people feel that her stand on the issue was prompted by the fear that any vehement opposition to CAA might polarise the voters further.

Meanwhile, as soon as the news of the CAA notification by the Union government surfaced, a wave of joy swept Thakurnagar in Bangaon subdivision of North 24 Parganas district, which is considered to be the hub for Matuas, a Scheduled Caste refugee community from the neighbouring Bangladesh.

People from the community came out on the streets to express their joy over the notification.

“We thank the Union government, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the BJP, and local BJP MP Shantanu Thakur for fulfilling our long-standing wish,” said a local resident.

The leader of the opposition in West Bengal Assembly, Suvendu Adhikari, said that when Prime Minister Narendra Modi gives a guarantee, it is always fulfilled.

“This is #ModiKiGuarantee. I wholeheartedly thank Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri @narendramodi Ji and Hon’ble Home Minister Shri @AmitShah Ji for notifying the rules of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA),” Adhikari said in a post on X.

Adhikari also said that the long-standing demand of the Matua community will be fulfilled now, adding that no one, not even Chief Minister Banerjee, will be able to stop them from getting citizenship.


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