Allegations of us doublespeaking on CAA false: CPI(M)

The CPI(M) on Wednesday denied all allegations that it had supported the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and said that never had the party demanded the exclusion of Muslim migrants from Indian citizenship.

"BJP, in order to defend the indefensible CAA, is accusing CPI(M) and the Communists in general, of doublespeak on the question of giving citizenship to Bengali refugees from East Pakistan and later Bangladesh. BJP is twisting the facts and making false allegations," the Party said in a statement.

BJP has been citing the letter written by Prakash Karat- the then General Secretary of the Party, on May 22, 2012, to PM Manmohan Singh demanding that Bengali refugees be given citizenship by amending the Citizenship Act.

The statement said that the CPI(M) had always wanted Bengali minority refugees from erstwhile East Pakistan and later Bangladesh to be given citizenship.

"But the CAA does so on the basis of religious identity and by excluding Muslim migrants. At no time had CPI(M) demanded the exclusion of Muslim migrants from citizenship rights. That is why the party has strongly opposed the CAA," it added.

The statement also said that the CPI(M) had adopted a resolution- 'For Rights of Bengali Refugees' in the 20th Congress of the Party, April 2012, where the Party had announced its stand on the matter.

"In this resolution, it was clear that the Assam Accord must be protected while citizenship to refugees from Bangladesh is being considered. This means that the March 1971 cutoff date as per the Assam Accord must not be disturbed. The CAA violates this cutoff limit for Assam. That is another reason why the CPI(M) opposed the CAB in parliament," it said.

The CPI(M) MPs in parliament had moved three amendments to the CAB.

Two amendments were meant to remove the religious classification of minorities and to ensure that migrants from all the neighbouring countries, irrespective of their religion, could be considered for citizenship.

"This was to cover, for instance, the Sri Lankan Tamil refugees living in Tamil Nadu. The third amendment was to exempt Assam and other north-eastern states from the purview of the bill," it said. 

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