The framing of rules under the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act -- mandatory for its implementation -- is pending two years after the law came into effect. Demands to scrap the law, seen as a spinoff of the farm laws cancellation, are now being raised afresh. At the all-party meeting on Sunday, Agatha Sangma -- leader of BJP ally National Peoples Party -- demanded the scraping of the of CAA, citing the Centre's move to repeal the farm laws.
"Since the farm laws have been repealed, and this was done primarily keeping in mind the sentiments of the people, I requested the government to repeal the CAA keeping in mind the same sort of sentiments of the people from the Northeast," she had told media after attending NDA meeting.
Agatha Sangma's brother Conrad Sangma is the Chief Minister of Meghalaya.
"CAA was notified on December 12, 2019, and came into force on January 10, 2020. The persons covered under CAA may apply for citizenship after the rules are notified," Union Minister Nityanand Rai on Tuesday told the Lok Sabha in response to query raised by Hibi Eden, a Congress MP from Kerala.
The minister also said the Centre has not taken any decision to prepare National Register of Citizens at the national level.
In the run up to the Bengal assembly polls -- held in April-May -- Union home minister Amit Shah had said the process of granting Indian citizenship to refugees under the CAA will begin once the Covid vaccination has ended.
The CAA is the first of the three contentions legislations passed by Parliament and triggered countrywide protests.
In a first, the law makes religion the yardstick for offering Indian citizenship.
The government says it will help non-Muslim refugees from the Muslim-dominated neighbouring countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, who fled to India because of religious persecution.
Critics say the law violates the secular tenets of the Constitution. Opposition parties have for long demanding the withdrawal of the law. It is also believed that the CAA -- along with the National Register of Citizens -- targets the Muslim community of India.
"There is international pressure to roll back these laws too. We had been practising democratic and secular polity but these laws are against it," a retired government official explained. "The BJP had hoped that this law would benefit them in Bengal, but assembly poll results there too showed them that India does not believe in this kind of politics," he added.