Citizenship Amendment Act to be implemented from next month?

Reports say MHA has already conducted dry runs of online registration portal

[File] Anti-CAA protesters stage a demonstration in Lucknow | PTI [File] Anti-CAA protesters stage a demonstration in Lucknow | PTI

The Citizenship (Amendment) Act or CAA is likely to be implemented across the country from next month, reports claimed on Tuesday, adding that the Union Home Ministry has already conducted dry runs of the online registration portal.

According to an NDTV report, the district authorities have been empowered to grant long-term visas—a precursor to the CAA—and the maximum number of applications were received from Pakistan.

The CAA, enacted by the Narendra Modi government in 2019, seeks to grant citizenship to persecuted non-Muslim immigrants, including Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis, and Christians, from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan who entered India before December 31, 2014.

There were reports that the government was keen to roll out the law before the model code of conduct coming into force for the Lok Sabha elections. 

Government sources told THE WEEK last month that they expect some protests in states such as Assam, West Bengal and Delhi, but adequate steps have been taken over the last several months to remove any reservations on the issue. 

The sources clarified that the CAA does not take away the citizenship of any religion or community; rather, it enables the persecuted members of these religions living in neighbouring countries who have suffered over the years to apply for citizenship. 

In January, Union Minister Shantanu Thakur, while addressing a public rally in West Bengal, claimed that the CAA would be implemented across the country within a week.

The promise of implementing the controversial law served as a major electoral platform for the BJP in the previous Lok Sabha and assembly polls in West Bengal, with party leaders believing it played a pivotal role in the BJP's ascent in the state.

Several states like West Bengal and Kerala have reiterated that they won’t allow the implementation of the law.

Join our WhatsApp Channel to get the latest news, exclusives and videos on WhatsApp