Kolkata, Nov 7 (SocialNews.XYZ) The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) will be implemented in West Bengal at any cost, Union Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs & Culture, Arjun Ram Meghwal, said during this short visit to the state on Monday.
His comments came at a time when controversies are brewing in West Bengal over the fate of the Matua community in the state, a Scheduled Caste designated refugee community from Bangladesh, following the Union Home Ministry's recent announcement that Indian citizenship would be granted to Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Parsis and Christians coming from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh and currently living in Mehsana and Anand districts of Gujarat.
Significantly, Meghwal said this at a religious function -- 'Rash Mela' -- organised by the people from the Matua community at Thakurnagar in the Bangaon sub-subdivision of North 24 Parganas district, which is predominantly a Matua-dominated pocket in the state.
The minister also said that he will speak to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah in this matter.
"The Centre is extremely serious about granting citizenship status to the people from the Matua community. That is why the CAA has been passed in the Parliament. There are some technical problems in framing the rules, and attempts are being made to get over them. The process is taking some time. If there is any problem on this count which is exclusive to West Bengal, it will also be solved," Meghwal said.
Soon after the Home Ministry's notification on granting citizenship status of the to the refugees in the two districts of Gujarat was announced, the leader of opposition in the West Bengal Assembly, Suvendu Adhikari, said that the development in Gujarat is an indication of the beginning of implementation of CAA, which has been passed in both the Houses of the Parliament.
"West Bengal is part of India. It will ultimately benefit the Matuas and the other scheduled tribe refugees, who will no longer be asked to furnish old documents before 1971," Adhikari said.
However, a note of apprehension was reflected in the statement of Shantanu Thakur, Union Minister of State for Ports, Shipping and Waterways, and BJP Lok Sabha member from Bangaon constituency, as he said that in a federal system of democracy, if the state government does not support the Union government in implementing anything, the implementation process becomes difficult in a particular state.
"This is a negative point for implementing CAA in West Bengal as the state government is opposing it. But the declaration of the Home Ministry about the refugees in Gujarat is the first step in the right direction. At least what we promised to the Matuas begins with Gujarat," he said.