Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra said that the final draft of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act or CAA is expected to be ready by March 30 next year.
Ajay Kumar Mishra made the statement at Thakurnagar in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district while attending a festival of the Dalit Matua community that has been demanding it.
"The process to roll out CAA has gained momentum in the last couple of years, some issues are being sorted out. Nobody can snatch citizenship rights from the Matuas. By March next year, the final draft of the CAA is expected to be ready for coming into force," Mishra said, as quoted by news agency PTI.
Reacting to Mishra’s announcement, TMC leaders said the BJP was once again raising the citizenship issue in West Bengal with eyes on the 2024 parliamentary polls.
Passed by the Parliament in December 2019, the CAA allows non-Muslim minorities in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan -- Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist, Parsi and Christian -- to acquire Indian citizenship in order to escape persecution in their home countries.
Under the Act, people from these communities who came to India before December 31, 2014, will not be treated as illegal immigrants but given Indian citizenship.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has vehemently opposed the implementation of the amended Act.