GUWAHATI: Just at the time when all political parties in Assam have been warming up to the state assembly polls slated somewhere in April-May, the state’s most contagious issue of Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) has once again stirred the ‘hornet’s nest’.
On Tuesday, the BJP-led central government was given more time to frame and implement the CAA, 2019 after Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha committee on subordinate legislation granted it an extension till April 9 and July 9, respectively.
“The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 (CAA) has been notified on 12.12.2019 and has come into force w.e.f. 10.01.2020. The Rules under The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 (CAA) are under preparation,” the Home Ministry said. The Rules are under preparation for over a year.
The CAA remains the prime issue in the ensuing Assam election as both national and regional forces have been preparing to fight the polls based on their pro or anti CAA stands.
While Congress-AIUDF-Left ally continued to lobby for a ‘grand alliance’ of all anti CAA and anti-BJP forces, newly floated regional fronts like Assam Jatiya Parishad (AJP) and Raijor Dal have been advocating for a united regional front.
Recently, both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and home minister Amit Shah remained ‘silent’ on CAA in their speeches during their visits to the state.
However, strong protest against CAA continued during the national leaders’ visits and thereafter.
“We are not afraid of the BJP government. We are not letting CAA happens to Assam,” said Dipanko Nath, All Assam Student’s Union (AASU) president.
Several AASU members sustained serious injuries when Assam Police and CRPF personnel resorted to lathi-charge on AASU activists at Suwalkuchi on Sunday evening while initiating a torchlight rally demanding the repeal of the contentious Act and withdrawal of the Environmental Impact Assessment, 2020 Draft.
The CAA aims to grant Indian citizenship to persecuted minorities — Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist, Parsi and Christian — from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. People from these communities who had come to India till December 31, 2014, due to religious persecution in these countries will be granted Indian citizenship.