GUWAHATI: The contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) has become the major poll agenda for West Bengal polls. After BJP national president J P Nadda advocated implementing the act soon, BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya on Wednesday too said that the citizenship law implementation will get priority ahead of the West Bengal elections.
He said as both his party and the Centre were keen on ending the woes of the state’s refugee population.
Noting that the National Register of Citizens (NRC) exercise was not up for discussion as of now, he said the BJP, is looking forward to granting citizenship to the persecuted refugees from neighbouring countries.
“The central government passed CAA to grant citizenship to religiously persecuted minorities of neighbouring countries. But there is a delay due to pending court cases and the Covid19 pandemic. When the situation will become normal, BJP will prioritise CAA implementation before elections in Bengal,” he told PTI.
In Bengal, a section of the Matua community people, who have migrated to the state from Bangladesh, has been expressing their displeasure over the delay in the implementation of the CAA.
BJP MP Santanu Thakur had recently said he would write to Shah requesting him to quickly implement the law in Bengal to ensure that people from the politically crucial Matua community, of which he is a part, get citizenship rights.
The saffron camp feared that the delay may result in a loss of votes from the community people in the ensuing polls.
Matuas had been migrating to West Bengal since the 1950s, mostly due to religious persecution. The community, with an estimated population of three million in West Bengal, is a major factor in at least four Lok Sabha seats and 30-40 assembly seats in Nadia, North and South 24 Parganas districts.
BJP said that CAA will benefit more than 1.5 crore people across the country, including over 72 lakh in West Bengal.