Thakurnagar (WB): Union Home Minister Amit Shah has said the process of granting Indian citizenship to refugees under the CAA, including to the Matua community of West Bengal, will begin once the process of Covid vaccination has ended.
Accusing the opposition parties of misleading the minorities about the Citizenship (amendment) Act, he said on Thursday, its implementation would not impact the citizenship status of Indian minorities. He said the Modi government had in 2018 promised it would bring in a new citizenship law and kept it when the BJP was voted to power in 2019. He said, after the country was hit by the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, its implementation had to be kept in abeyance.
“Mamata didi said we made a false promise. She started opposing the CAA and saying she will never allow it. The BJP always fulfils the promises it makes. We have brought this law and refugees will get citizenship. As soon as the Covid vaccination process ends, the process of granting citizenship under CAA will begin. All of you will be respected citizens of this country,” he said, addressing a rally here in the bastion of the Matua community.
Matuas, originally from East Pakistan, are weaker section Hindus who migrated to India during the Partition and after the creation of Bangladesh. Many of them have been accorded Indian citizenship but a sizeable section of the population has not got it.
The Matua community, with an estimated population of three million in the State, can tilt the scales in favour of a political party in at least four Lok seats and more than 30 Assembly seats in Nadia, and North and South 24 Parganas districts. It once stood solidly behind the TMC but had supported the BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.