New Delhi: The process of granting citizenship to refugees under the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) will most probably begin from January 2021, BJP General Secretary and West Bengal In-charge Kailash Vijayvargiya told reporters on the sidelines of the party’s ‘Aar Noy Anyay’ (no more injustice) campaign in North 24 Parganas district. Stating that the Centre and the BJP are keen to grant citizenship to the large refugee population in West Bengal, Vijayvargiya also accused the TMC government of not being sympathetic to the cause of the refugees. Also Read - TMC's Nusrat Jahan 'Shamed Indian Culture', Says BJP Bengal President Dilip Ghosh

“We are hopeful that the process of granting citizenship to refugees under the CAA will begin from January next year. The Centre has passed the CAA with the honest intention of granting citizenship to persecuted refugees coming to our country from neighbouring nations,” he asserted. Also Read - Jammu and Kashmir on Alert Ahead of PM Modi’s All-Party Meet on J&K | Top Developments

The CAA seeks to grant citizenship to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Christian, Jain and Parsi refugees who have come to India from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan on or before December 31, 2014. Also Read - '3rd or 4th Front Can't Challenge...': Prashant Kishor Ahead of Gathering at Sharad Pawar's Residence

Reacting strongly to Vijayvargiya’s comment, senior TMC leader and state minister Firhad Hakim said that the BJP is trying to fool the people of West Bengal. “What does the BJP mean by citizenship? If the Matuas are not citizens, how come they voted in assembly and parliamentary polls year after year? The BJP should stop fooling the people of West Bengal,” he said.

Originally hailing from East Pakistan (present-day Bangladesh), the Matuas started migrating to West Bengal in the 1950s, mostly due to religious persecution.