Millennium Post

Centre's idea of granting citizenship online under CAA far from reality: TMC

Kolkata: The Trinamool Congress on Wednesday declined to attach much importance to the Centre's plan to make the entire process of granting citizenship under the amended Citizenship Act online, claiming that the idea is far from reality.

Some of the states ruled by non-BJP parties are dead against the new legislation and the proposed nation-wide NRC, and the TMC which has been at the forefront among them has announced that the new law will not be implemented in West Bengal at any cost.

"The central government can say many things. But you have to understand the real picture. In a country like India, this idea of granting citizenship online or applying for it online would never taste success. This idea is far from reality," Leader of the TMC Parliamentary party in Lok Sabha, Sudip Bandopadhyay, said.

The Ministry of Home Affairs is mulling the option of doing away with the present procedure of routing applications for citizenship through the district magistrate in view of the strong opposition expressed by several states.

"In a federal structure, the Centre can't just push a law without consulting state governments," Bandopadhyay said.

The TMC's Rajya Sabha MP Manas Bhunia also said if people are up against a law, it is next to impossible to implement it.

"Whether it is online or offline... the Centre would never be able to implement the law as the people are against it. In a democracy, you can't just bulldoze a law, which has been opposed across the country," Bhunia said.

The issue of amended Citizenship Act has emerged as the latest flashpoint in the state, with the TMC opposing the legislation tooth and nail and the BJP pressing for its implementation.

West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee has been crisscrossing the state holding protest marches against the new citizenship law. She has announced that new citizenship will not be implemented in the state.

West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh, however, said the TMC will not be able to stop the amended Citizenship Act from getting implemented.

According to the amended Citizenship Act, members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan till December 31, 2014 and facing religious persecution there will not be treated as illegal immigrants but given Indian citizenship.

A number of chief ministers, including those of West Bengal, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, have announced that the law is "unconstitutional" and has no place in their respective state.

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