Rajeev Shukla reiterates Cong’s CAA stand

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HT Bureau

GUWAHATI, March 21: Congress leader and former Union minister Rajeev Shukla on Sunday said Congress will cease the implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Act(CAA) if the party is voted to power in the upcoming assembly elections.

Shukla slammed the BJP at the Centre for the decline in democracy, increasing unemployment amongst youth, Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and farm laws protest.

The CAA is one of the key issues of the congress party, in its manifesto, which was released by congress Yuvaraj Rahul Gandhi here on Saturday evening.

The CAA was passed by the parliament on December 11, 2019 which amended the Citizenship Act, 1955 by providing a pathway to Indian citizenship for persecuted religious minorities from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan who are Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis or Christians, and arrived in India before the end of December 2014.

The law does not grant such eligibility to Muslims from those countries, all of which are Muslim-majority countries. The act was the first time that religion had been overtly used as a criterion for citizenship under Indian law.

Referring to granting ST status to six communities of the state, Shukla said the Congress has set up a committee to explore constitutional and legal ways to grant ST tribe status to Moran, Mattock, Sonowal, Tai Ahom, Sootea, Koch-Rajbongshi and the tea tribe communities, keeping the status and rights of the existing ST communities.

“The committee will explore constitutional and legal ways to grant land patta’s to tea tribe workers for their residential homes in the tea gardens, which has been their home for decades,” he said.

“The committee includes one person from each of the tribes. This is the difference in approach between the BJP and the Congress. The Congress government is going to be run by the Assamese people, which is reflected by the composition of this committee, and for the people of Assam and not on the instructions of people from Delhi,” Shukla said.

“Where there is a will, there is a way. The Congress party will pave a way to ensure all rights of the tea workers are protected and they get their due. We are committed to the all-round development of the tea workers community in terms of their wages, their homes, their health and their living standards,” he added.

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