CAA likely by January-February in West Bengal: Kailash Vijayvargiya – Times of India

Kolkata News

KOLKATA: Senior BJP leader and the party’s Bengal minder, Kailash Vijayvargiya, on Sunday said the Centre was “most likely” to implement CAA in Bengal in January or February of the new year.
The Trinamool Congress responded immediately, saying this was yet another instance of the BJP trying to “fool people”.
“If Bengal government opposes (the implementation of CAA), the Centre will take steps,” Vijayvargiya said on Sunday at a programme organised at Esplanade to observe the 65th death anniversary of B R Ambedkar.
The senior leader claimed there was a dichotomy in Bengal, because, on one hand, Trinamool Congress was “opposing the move to give citizenship to refugees who were persecuted at home on religious grounds”, but the government was “providing ration to infiltrators from Bangladesh.”
He claimed this was just an election ploy. “Ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and home minister Amit Shah had promised to implement CAA. Wherever we go, people have been enquiring about it. We have urged the Union government for its implementation in Bengal. This will help refugees who have settled here due to religious persecution get citizenship. We are optimistic this will be done early…. The law was passed several months back. After the onset of Covid, certain issues had to be prioritised. But it will be implemented now.”
The BJP brass is not losing sight of the “rumblings” among Matuas over the citizenship issue. BJP MP from Bongaon and Matua Mahasangha leader Santanu Thakur, in a recent meeting, gave precedence to his Matua identity and claimed that he was ready to “sacrifice everything” for the Matua cause and their demand for citizenship.
Urban development minister Firhad Hakim said the BJP was trying to fool people of 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 Bengal,” he said.
Trinamool Congress, among the most vocal against CAA and NRC, has not also ignored the resonance of these in some pockets in the state. In Bengal, there are 94 refugee colonies on state government land and there are 237 such colonies on central government land, where almost 1.5 lakh families, who had crossed over from neighbouring Bangladesh 40-50 years ago, reside. On November 4, chief minister Mamata Banerjee had announced giving 1.3 lakh freehold title deeds following the cabinet decision of regularising all refugee colonies. Distribution of 25,000 freehold title deeds among residents of refugee colonies is likely to be completed by December 15.