TMC will oppose if CAA deprives people of their rights, says Mamata Banerjee in first reaction | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

TMC will oppose if CAA deprives people of their rights, says Mamata Banerjee in first reaction

Mar 11, 2024 09:38 PM IST

The CAA was operationalised on Monday after the union ministry of home affairs issued the rules governing the amendment

KOLKATA: West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said that the Trinamool Congress (TMC) will oppose the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) if it infringes upon the rights of people in any manner.

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee addresses a press conference at Nabanna, in Howrah on Monday. (PTI/CMO)
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee addresses a press conference at Nabanna, in Howrah on Monday. (PTI/CMO)

“If there is any disparity and if there are any attempts to oust somebody, if people’s rights are infringed, TMC will not remain silent. There will be protests,” Banerjee said on Monday minutes before the Union home ministry released the rules that will enable the government to operationalise the law passed by Parliament in 2019.

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The CAA, which was notified on December 12, 2019, after its passage by Parliament, seeks to grant Indian citizenship to persecuted minorities belonging to the Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist, Parsi and Christian communities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan who entered India on or before December 31, 2014.

It came into effect on January 10, 2020, but was not operationalised in the absence of rules that were issued on Monday.

“First let me go through the rules. If I find that people are being deprived, we will fight against it. I am keeping a watch. I need to study the rules after they are notified,” she told reporters who sought her reaction to the central government’s announcement about the rules.

Banerjee clarified that this was her preliminary reaction and added that she would make detailed comments on the rules after going through the government order.

West Bengal’s ruling TMC and Mamata Banerjee have been sharp critics of the law in the past, saying it was divisive and that it would not be implemented in West Bengal.

“This is nothing else but an election publicity of the BJP. We don’t want any fresh disturbance before the election. I don’t want the BJP to engage in any kind of provocation. I know why this day, when the Ramadan month is starting, was chosen to make the announcement,” she added.

The West Bengal BJP, however, said CAA will fulfil a long-standing demand of the Matua community. “The CAA, which was passed by the Parliament will now be implemented and the Act will come into force across the nation. The long-standing demand of the Matua community will now be fulfilled and they will get Citizenship and no one can deny them their rights, not even Mamata Banerjee. I would like to extend my best wishes and regards to the Matua Community and the All India Matua Mahasangha,” BJP leader of opposition in the assembly Suvendu Adhikari said in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

There are around 10 million people from the Namasudra community in West Bengal who migrated to India after the Partition in 1947 and the 1971 Bangladesh War.

A significant proportion of the Namasudra population supported the BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls when it wrested 18 of Bengal’s 42 seats.

Shantanu Thakur, the sect’s young face who defeated his aunt from the TMC in 2019 from the Bongaon seat, welcomed the announcement. Thakur, who was also inducted into the union council of ministers, said: “This decision has overjoyed Matua Devotees across country & #WestBengal as they begin a new journey, following to the battle being fought since 20th century. I also extend my heartfelt thanks to #MatuaCommunuity for keeping faith & believe in leadership”.

West Bengal governor CV Ananda Bose welcomed Banerjee reserving her opinion on the law and the rules. “Rules are formed to clear confusion and grey areas. Let us first see the rules and then comment. It is a good step towards the democratic functioning of the country. The Act has been passed and rules have been framed. Every government must act within Acts and rule within the rules. I agree with my Constitutional colleague (chief minister) when she said she would first understand what it is and then respond. This is a very good attitude. We are on the same page,” he said.

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