Chennai: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday said the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) is a law to confer Indian citizenship to a person and not a law to cancel citizenship.
Sitharaman said during the past six years 2,838 persons from Pakistan, 914 persons from Afghanistan and 172 persons from Bangladesh have been conferred Indian citizenship.
She added between 1964-2008 over four lakh persons from Sri Lanka have been offered Indian citizenship.
The Finance Minister was here to participate in an event organised by Chennai Citizens' Forum and New India Forum on CAA.
Speaking at the event Sitharaman said the CAA is for conferring citizenship and not for withdrawal of the same.
She also said the state governments cannot say that the law will not be implemented and the resolutions passed in the state assemblies will not have any impact and is illegal.
Coming down heavily on the opponents of the CAA, Sitharaman said those who don't speak about human rights are speaking against CAA.
She said the Sri Lankan refugees are living in poor conditions in India and the opposition parties are not talking about their rights.
She said the issue was discussed at length in the Parliament and the government had answered the questions raised by the opposition parties on the CAA.
Sitharaman said for those who register properly will be given the citizenship and thee CAA is for providing citizenship for those from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.