3 February 2023
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Kolkata: Leader of opposition in the West Bengal Assembly Suvendu Adhikari has asserted that the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) will be put into effect in the state and has dared Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to prevent its implementation.

At a discussion in the Matua-dominated Thakurnagar neighbourhood of North 24 Parganas District, which has Bangladeshi roots, Adhikari said that the CAA does not imply that anyone’s citizenship will be revoked if they are a truly bonafide resident with proper documentation.

“We have discussed about the CAA several times. It will be rolled out in the state. If you have guts, stop it from being enforced,” the Nandigram MLA said in an apparent reference to the chief minister.

It is significant to mention here that the CAA facilitates the citizenship of immigrants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan who are members of the Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, or Christian communities. However, as the rules under the act have not been framed by the government yet, no one so far could be granted citizenship under it.

Adhikari at a public meeting on Saturday said, “Mathua community members will also be given citizenship.”

The Mathuas are a politically vital community as they are split into the BJP and the Trinamool camps. With at least 30 lakh Mathuas in the state, the community has dominance in over five Lok Sabha seats and nearly 50 assembly seats in Nadia, North, and South 24 Parganas districts.

Union Minister and BJP MP from Bongaon Shantanu Thakur also stated that the CAA will be “a reality in West Bengal, and the Narendra Modi-led government is committed to realising the goal.”

Meanwhile, TMC leader and senior West Bengal minister Firhad Hakim has said that the saffron party is “playing” with the CAA card before the upcoming panchayat polls in 2023 and the Lok Sabha elections in 2024 with “an eye on vote-bank politics.” “But, we will never allow that to happen,” he said.

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Abdul Gh Lone

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