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Opposition Decries Modi’s Decision to Announce CAA Before Ramadan, Calls Timing Suspect

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Opposition parties have strongly criticized the timing of the notification of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) by the Modi government, alleging it to be a move aimed at polarizing the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. The notification has drawn widespread condemnation from various quarters, including the Muslim community and student bodies.

The CAA grants Indian nationality to persecuted minorities from neighboring countries such as Hindus, Parsis, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, and Christians who fled to India before December 31, 2014. However, the timing of its notification has raised eyebrows.

Jairam Ramesh, a prominent figure in the Congress party, highlighted the delay in notifying the rules for the CAA, stating that it took over four years and multiple extensions for the government to act upon it. He criticized Prime Minister Modi’s claims of efficiency, citing this delay as evidence of mismanagement.

“It has taken four years and three months for the Modi Government to notify the rules for the Citizenship Amendment Act that was passed by the Parliament in December 2019. The Prime Minister claims that his Government works in a business-like and time-bound manner. The time taken to notify the rules for the CAA is yet another demonstration of the Prime Minister’s blatant lies,” said Jairam Ramesh.

“After seeking nine extensions for the notification of the rules, the timing right before the elections is evidently designed to polarise the elections, especially in West Bengal and Assam. It also appears to be an attempt to manage the headlines after the Supreme Court’s severe strictures on the Electoral Bonds Scandal,” he said.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee labelled the notification as BJP’s election publicity stunt and vowed to fight against any provisions that could deprive people of their rights.

“Let me see the rules first. The notification has not been issued yet. If people are deprived of their rights under the rules, then we will fight against it. This is BJP’s publicity for elections, it is nothing else,” the Trinamool Congress chief said.

She also questioned the timing of the notification before Ramazan and urged people to remain calm.

“You should have notified rules six months ago. If there are any good things, we always support and appreciate but if anything is done that is not good for the country, TMC will always raise its voice and oppose it. I know why today’s date was chosen before Ramazan. I appeal to the people to be calm and avoid any rumors,” she said.

Akhilesh Yadav, the leader of the Samajwadi Party, dismissed the CAA notification as a distraction tactic by the BJP government.

“When the citizens of the country are forced to go out for livelihood, then what will happen by bringing ‘citizenship law’ for others? The public has now understood the BJP’s game of politics of distraction,” Yadav said in a post on X.

“The BJP government should explain why lakhs of citizens gave up their citizenship of the country during their 10 years of rule. No matter what happens tomorrow you have to give account of ‘Electoral Bond’ and then also of the ‘care fund’,” he added.

In Assam, opposition parties slammed the CAA notification, viewing it as a means to grant citizenship to undocumented non-Muslim migrants from neighbouring countries. The All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) vowed to legally challenge the government’s move, emphasizing their longstanding demand for the identification and deportation of illegal immigrants.

Muslim groups have expressed concerns about the CAA, fearing discrimination against India’s Muslim population, particularly in combination with the proposed National Register of Citizens. The government has defended the law, stating its intent to provide citizenship to persecuted minorities and dismissing allegations of anti-Muslim bias.

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