onUnion Home Minister Amit Shah addresses an election rally in Kolkata on April 13, 2021. | Photo Credit: PTI

Union Home Minister Amit Shah has said the BJP-led Central government is committed to framing the rules for the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the only reason it was delayed was because of the persistence of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Shah said the delay in framing rules was not due to the West Bengal Assembly resolution blocking the CAA “but the fact that it involves a large-scale exercise in all border States. Due to the pandemic, undertaking this CAA exercise would not be advisable. The fight against COVID-19 is a priority that is why the rules for the CAA are delayed”.

‘No alternative’

Answering a question on advisability of large gatherings in poll rallies and roadshows when India was undergoing a massive second wave, Mr. Shah said there was “no alternative under the Constitution” to delay polls when the life of a legislative body had come to an end.

“Maybe going forward if all parties come together we can come or should have suggested some alternatives to postpone polls or extend the life of elected Assemblies, but currently even the ECI [Election Commission of India] has no alternatives, and as political parties we have even less space, as we have to prepare for polls when the ECI sets the date,” he said.

This story first appeared on thehindu.com