Senior Bhartiya Janata Party leader, Kailash Vijayvargiya on Saturday said that the central government will start the process of granting citizenship to the refugees of Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan in West Bengal from January next year.
The BJP leader told the reporters that the Party is sensitive to the persecuted refugee, who has come to India and is eager to grant them citizenship under the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2020. “We are hopeful that the process of granting citizenship to refugees under the CAA will begin from January next year,” quoted PTI.
With the Party’s ‘Aar Noy Anyay’ (no more injustice) campaign in North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal, Mr. Kailash told the reporters that “The Centre has passed the CAA with the honest intention of granting citizenship to persecuted refugees coming to our country from neighboring nations.”
Ahead of West Bengal Polls, BJP has also accused the Trinamool Congress (TMC) of not being sympathetic to the cause of the refugees.
Responding to the accusations, senior TMC leader and state minister Firhad Hakim said that the BJP government is trying to mislead the people of West Bengal. “What does the BJP mean by citizenship? If the Matuas are not citizens, how come they voted in assembly and parliamentary polls year after year? The BJP should stop fooling the people of West Bengal,” he said.
The Matua community has an approximate population of 30 lakh in West Bengal and has influenced poll results in at least four Lok Sabha seats and 30-40 assembly constituencies in Nadia, North and South 24 Parganas districts.
Originally from East Pakistan (present-day Bangladesh), Matias started migrating to the state in the 1950s, predominantly due to religious persecution.
The Citizenship Amendment Act, 2020 seeks to grant citizenship to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Christian, Jain, and Parsi refugees who have come to India from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan on or before December 31, 2014.