"PM's Decision Is Right": Smriti Irani Defends Citizenship Law Amid Protests

The remarks come a day after Mamata Banerjee alleged that anyone applying for citizenship under CAA would be labeled as an "illegal migrant".

'PM's Decision Is Right': Smriti Irani Defends Citizenship Law Amid Protests

Smriti Irani said the whole of India knows PM's decision to implement CAA is right (File/PTI)


The decision to implement the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), 2019, by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government is "correct", Union Minister Smriti Irani said amid protests from opposition parties and claimed that the whole country supports it.

"People belonging to the Hindu, Sikh, and Jain communities from countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Bangladesh will be granted citizenship, a pledge fulfilled by PM Modi," she said speaking to the media in Bengal's Bardhaman on Tuesday.

"Mamata Banerjee (Bengal Chief Minister) will try to instigate a few communities for her vote bank but the whole of India knows this decision of PM Modi is right," Ms Irani said.

These remarks come a day after Mamata Banerjee criticized the Modi government over the CAA notification, alleging that it was merely an election gimmick and that anyone applying for citizenship under CAA would be labeled as an "illegal migrant".

"The central government implemented CAA yesterday. I am doubtful of its legality. There is no clarity from the government over this. This is a gimmick ahead of the elections. In 2019, the names of 13 lakh Hindu Bengalis, out of a total of 19 lakh, were removed from the list in Assam in the name of NRC. Several people died by suicide," Mamata Banerjee said.

The CAA was linked to NRC and those who apply for CAA will immediately be considered illegal migrants, although they are citizens of the country, Ms Banerjee said, adding that the BJP feels it has hit a sixer but it's a duck.

"If even one person gets it right, I will be happy. I will give protection to everyone. Do you know how many churches have been burnt in Manipur? Where were the BJP leaders when women were paraded naked in Manipur? Tell the truth, didn't you have Aadhaar cards? Do you have land and shops? The moment you apply for CAA, you become illegal," she said.

On March 11, the Union Home Ministry notified the rules of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), days ahead of the announcement of the Lok Sabha election schedule.

The CAA rules, introduced by the Narendra Modi government and passed by Parliament in 2019, aim to confer Indian citizenship to persecuted non-Muslim migrants - Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis, and Christians - who migrated from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan and arrived in India before December 31, 2014.

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