In an exclusive interview with CNN-News18 on Monday, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAA) will not take away the citizenship of Muslims, adding that the Congress party has attempted to instigate people and the BJP is now working on clearing confusion over the issue.
“There has been a deliberate attempt to create confusion among the people regarding the CAA. They’ve been misled to believe that their citizenship will go away with the implementation of CAA,” he said.
The CAA, under which non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan will be given Indian citizenship, came into force from January 10. The CAA was passed by Parliament on December 11.
Shah said Congress leaders like Anand Sharma, Kapil Sibal and Ghulam Nabi Azad said the CAA cannot take away citizenship, “then why did their party president go to Ram Lila Maidan to instigate people to come on the road to protest it?”
Shah said the right message has been sent to people. “These kind of things don’t run long. We have communicated the idea of CAA through media and discussion in the House and it has percolated down to the people,” he said.
Shah reiterated that “we will bring NRC, however, now we will consider it after clearing the confusion on CAA first”.
According to the CAA, members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan till December 31, 2014, facing religious persecution there will not be treated as illegal immigrants but given Indian citizenship.
There have been widespread protests against the Act in different parts of the country.
Those opposed to the legislation say it is for the first time that India will grant citizenship on the basis of religion, which violates the basic tenets of the country’s constitution.
However, the government and the ruling BJP have defended the Act, saying the minority groups from the three countries have no other option but to come India when they face religious persecution there.