Speaking to the media on Monday, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut slammed BJP for creating fear about the Citizenship Amendment Act. At the same time, he acknowledged that it was very difficult for the Centre to throw individuals out of the country. He also questioned the Centre’s ability to provide food, shelter, and employment to new citizens at a juncture when lakhs of Indians lacked these very necessities.
Thereafter, Raut referred to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s statement that many people in the government also did not have their birth certificate. He contended that this issue would affect both Hindus as well as Muslims. Nevertheless, he acknowledged that there was a difference between the CAA and the National Register of Citizens.
Sanjay Raut remarked, “Whether anyone opposes CAA or not, it is not easy for the government to throw anyone out of India. The Home Minister has said that this law is not to throw someone out, it is for giving citizenship. We want to see how people are provided with food, shelter, and employment. In this country, there are already lakhs of people who do not have shelter and employment. The law has not been operationalised yet.”
He added, “In Maharashtra, CM Uddhav Thackeray said that there are many people enjoying government posts who do not have a birth certificate. So, will you throw them out? There are many Hindus and Muslims like this. I will talk about NRC. NRC and CAA are different. The fear of the law that you are creating for votebank politics is not good.”
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 has been reduced to five years. The opposition contends that the Act discriminates on the basis of religion.