Popular Front of India (PFI) Chairman O M A Salam, in a statement, has called on the democratic forces in the country “to resist any attempt by the Narendra Modi government to bring the discriminatory Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2019 back through backdoor.”
“It seems that the Centre has started the process of implementing the controversial Citizenship Act that was put on hold after it sparked massive protests across the country,” read a statement issued by PFI.
The Centre on Friday issued a gazette notification granting powers under existing rules to authorities in 13 districts of Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Haryana and Punjab to accept, verify and approve citizenship applications from members of non-Muslim communities hailing from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. With the Centre yet to frame rules under the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) 2019, which was fiercely protested against by various sections, the order has been issued under the Citizenship Act, 1955 and the Citizenship Rules, 2009.
PFI alleged that the saffron party led government is using the COVID-19 situation as a cover to implement the exclusionist and communally divisive legislation that questions the very foundations of the constitution.
“It’s to be remembered that the country is facing one of the worst medical emergencies in history and people are dying in their thousands due to insufficient medical facilities and disposal of dead bodies still stays a huge challenge with people throwing the dead bodies into the rivers and cremating in public places. The Centre is a failure in addressing the situation and ensuring vaccine to the citizens. Yet it has not refrained from pursuing its Hindutva fascist agenda of alienating the country’s Muslim citizens and dividing people along religious lines,” Popular Front Chairman O M A Salam said.
The party also accused that the urge to implement CAA before its rules are even framed and while the Supreme Court is yet to start the hearing on the petitions filed against it comes out of desperation.
“Modi and Amit Shah are desperate for a whole new issue to keep people from thinking and asking questions about the tragic misrule, resultant economic downfall the country is headed to and the massive COVID-19 mismanagement,” Salam added.
PFI also stated that Union government’s claims that the order has been issued under the Citizenship Act, 1955 and the Citizenship Rules, 2009 are also unfounded.