NEW DELHI—Various social and political leaders have slammed BJP chief J P Nadda’s statements that Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) will be implemented. Nadda, addressing BJP workers in West Bengal on Monday, said that the CAA implementation was delayed due to coronavirus pandemic. With situation improving in the country, he said that work on framing rules on CAA had begun and it would finally be implemented.
Speaking to India Tomorrow, Welfare Party of India (WPI) president Dr. SQR Ilyas said, “As the CAA is discriminatory, illegal and unconstitutional, it was opposed through a mass protest by people from all communities from Punjab to Kerala and from Assam to Gujarat when the law was brought in December last year”.
“Though several groups have challenged the CAA in the Supreme Court and the latter has yet not conducted any hearing on it, people will certainly oppose it if the government goes ahead with implementing the controversial law”, he said.
WPI chief said that that the statements by Nadda seemed to be intended at polarizing the voters in ongoing Bihar assembly elections as also the forthcoming assembly elections in West Bengal.
Denouncing Nadda for his statements, All India Muslim Majlis Mushawarat (AIMMM) president Navaid Hamid said, “If they (BJP) think that there would not be protest if CAA is implemented, they are in big illusion. They would be in great surprise because people would definitely oppose this unconstitutional law”.
Stating that “CAA is itself corona for the country”, he said that the “BJP is an expert in creating divisions and at a time when Covid is still a big challenge for the whole world, hasty decision on CAA will not benefit the country in any way”.
Fr. Cedric Prakash, representing Ahmedabad-based NGO Prashant (Tranquility) said that there is no need of CAA as there are already enough provisions to grant citizenship to people coming from outside and stay in India. “CAA is discriminatory and divisive and pitting one community against the rest of the country”, he said.
Stating that the “CAA is wrong and the government should listen to the voice of the people of India”, Fr Prakash said that “millions of people had come out on the streets protesting against the whole CAA/NRC and wanted it to be withdrawn in totality”.
Stating that “it was neither a Muslim, Christian or minority issue”, the priest said, “It is about citizenship, sanctity of citizenship of every Indian citizen. And the government of BJP can’t play with citizenship of Indians which is clearly guaranteed and protected by the Constitution”.
Malik Moatasim Khan, Secretary (Community and National Affairs), Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, warned that “people would not accept it if CAA is implemented”.
“Instead of solving problems like increasing unemployment, violence against women, delayed justice in courts and crisis caused by Covid, the government wants to create more problems by announcing to implement CAA”, he stated.
Kolkata-based journalist Abdul Aziz, who is also secretary of the West Bengal unit of AIMMM, said that the statements of Nadda appeared to be politically-motivated and to communalise the voters in the forthcoming assembly elections of West Bengal. He said that BJP wants to use CAA to attract those Hindus who have migrated to India from Bangladesh. “They are not speaking about CAA in Bihar because they feel Nitish Kumar would lose Muslim votes if they do it there”, he said.