Speaking at a pro-Citizenship Amendment Act rally at Jagiroad on Friday, December 27, Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma explained the rationale behind the December 31, 2014 cut-off date in the legislation. He contended that the BJP was shouldering the burden of the mistakes committed by Congress from 1972 onwards, hinting at the role of the latter in allowing the infiltration of illegal immigrants.
Asserting that no new migrants had entered Assam after Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister in 2014, he revealed that the PM had asked Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina to ensure the safety of all Hindus.
Himanta Biswa Sarma remarked, "The cut-off date for the Citizenship Act is 2014 because the BJP has been shouldering the burden of mistakes committed by the Congress from 1972 to that year. While migrants have been streaming into the state from 1972, not even an ant could enter after Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister in 2014. He even told Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to ensure that not even a single Hindu there is touched."
The Assam Finance Minister also assured the people that new migrants wouldn’t be able to enter the state. He claimed that three-four lakh people living in Assam could benefit from the CAA. BJP will hold another pro-CAA rally on Sunday in Sualkuchi, which falls under Sarma’s Assembly constituency.
"The three to four lakh people who are eligible to apply under the CAA are already here, and have built houses for themselves. A few have even became MLAs,” Sarma quipped.
The CAA seeks to provide citizenship to the minority communities namely Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan. This will be applicable to the members of these communities having arrived in India on or before December 31, 2014. Moreover, they will not be considered as illegal migrants.
Additionally, the mandatory residence period for naturalised citizenship for these communities would be reduced to 5 years. There have been widespread protests in Assam against the CAA as the opposition deems it as a violation of the Assam Accord.