Despite countrywide demonstrations against the amended citizenship act, the Indian federal government has been unmoved about its stand on implementing the law by stating that “it doesn’t affect any Indian”.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state Gujarat was the first to grant citizenship to Hindus that fled Pakistan. Following Gujarat's footsteps, the western state of Rajasthan has implemented the law by granting citizenship to eight immigrants from Pakistan, who have been living in the Kota district of the state.
Om Prakash Kasera, Kota District Collector: Eight people had come from Pakistan, and have been living here since 2000. The Home Department of the state govt has issued orders to provide citizenship to them. (30.12) #Rajasthan pic.twitter.com/tg9T3EtsxR— ANI (@ANI) December 31, 2019
All eight Hindu immigrants from the Sindh Province of Pakistan had moved to India in the late 1990s.
The district collector of Kota said, “The citizenship applications were sent for eight people. The Indian Ministry of Home Affairs approved their application and returned the certificate, which we have handed over to those people".
Rajasthan is governed by India’s main opposition Indian National Congress, which has been opposing the new law, terming it discriminatory and against the provisions of the nation's Constitution. Yet it has implemented the new Citizenship Act.
Leaders of Congress such as Priyanka Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, and the chief ministers of Punjab and Madhya Pradesh have been opposing the Citizenship Amendment Act at the national level. They have reiterated that they would not implement the new law.
The provincial government in western Gujarat, home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, became the first to implement the act by registering 3,500 Hindus who had emigrated from Pakistan prior to January 2015.