The Center decided to grant Indian citizenship under the Citizenship Act of 1955 to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. These minorities who came from these countries are currently living in two districts of Gujarat. Instead of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), 2019, the decision to give citizenship to these refugees under the Citizenship Act of 1955 assumes great significance.
According to the notification of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), people of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities living in Anand and Mahesana districts of Gujarat, coming from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, will be given citizenship. According to the notification, registration as a citizen of India will be allowed under Section 6 of the Citizenship Act, 1955 and in accordance with the provisions of the Citizenship Rules, 2009 or they will be given a certificate of citizen of the country.
Since, the district collectors have been given the right to give citizenship before the Gujarat elections. In such a situation, this move is being considered as a big bet of the Center among the political corridors, analysts and election pundits. However, it is to be noted that it is a move to grant citizenship under the Citizenship Act, 1955 and not the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 (CAA) of importance.