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Will oppose CAA if it discriminates against people, says Mamata Banerjee

Updated – March 11, 2024 at 10:06 PM.
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Kolkata

Banerjee termed the Central government’s move a “political show-off” just before the Lok Sabha polls

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee addresses a press conference at Nabanna, in Howrah, on Monday


West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee addresses a press conference at Nabanna, in Howrah, on Monday
| Photo Credit:
PTI

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Monday she would oppose the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) if it “discriminates” against people.

“If there is any discrimination, we will not accept it. Be it religion, caste, or linguistic. They won’t be able to give citizenship to anyone in two days. This is just a lollipop and show-off. If they call them citizens only after the CAA, were they not citizens before?” Banerjee, the Trinamool Congress supremo, said this at a press conference at the State secretariat here.

Ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, the Centre on Monday announced the implementation of the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 for granting citizenship to undocumented non-Muslim migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan who came to India before December 31, 2014.

‘Political show-off’

Banerjee termed the Central government’s move a “political show-off” just before the Lok Sabha polls.

“Such instigation is unwanted before the polls. I ask: What was the tearing hurry to rethink citizenship when elections are knocking on the door? We will not tolerate this and protest against this,” she said.

With the CAA rules being issued, the Modi government will now start granting Indian nationality to persecuted non-Muslim migrants — Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis and Christians — from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

The CAA was passed in December 2019 and subsequently got the President’s assent. But there were protests in several parts of the country against it. The law could not come into effect as the rules had not been notified.

Notably, addressing a rally in Kolkata in November last year, Union Home Minister Amit Shah alleged that Banerjee is opposing CAA as her government has been unable to stop infiltration in the state.

“In the state in which so much infiltration occurs, will development take place there? That’s why Mamata Banerjee is opposing CAA. But I would say that CAA is the law of the country, and no one can stop it. We will implement it,” Shah had said.

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