Union minister Ramdas Athawale on Friday claimed that the central government may consider changes to the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and National Register of Citizens (NRC). He said that the government has sought feedback on the legislation in the wake of protests in some parts of the country. The statement comes days after Home Minister Amit Shah made it clear that his government will not go back on CAA no matter how long the protests continue.
The CAA was cleared by Parliament last month. Following the passage of the citizenship law, massive protests erupted across the country with a section of people and opposition parties calling it ‘discriminatory’. Some of the opposition-ruled states such as Kerala, Punjab, and West Bengal have already declared that they will not implement the CAA and NRC. Kerala and Punjab recently passed resolutions in their respective assemblies asking withdrawal of the CAA.
Despite fierce opposition by these states, the Centre refused to change its stand and said it will not go back an inch on the CAA. Home Minster Amit Shah had said that he will not withdraw CAA, even if the entire opposition comes together. Barring some parties, the opposition is mostly concerned about the CAA-NRC combine. They fear that the CAA, combined with the NRC, makes the citizenship law ‘exclusionary’.
Some of the saffron party allies such as JD(U) and Shiromani Akali Dal have started raising these concerns in public. Bihar CM Nitish Kumar has gone a step ahead and announced that he won’t implement NRC in his state. Over 130 petitions have been filed in the Supreme Court challenging the constitutional validity of the CAA. Earlier this week, the apex court heard the matter but refused to pass any stay order. The top court has asked the Centre to give its response within four weeks.