By Heather Law, Vedika Sud and Tara John, CNN

India has announced rules that would allow it to implement a controversial citizenship bill that excludes Muslims.

The Indian Ministry of Home Affairs announced the rules Monday, ahead of India’s general election in the spring, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi will seek a rare third term in power.

The Citizenship (Amendment) Act provides a fast-track to citizenship for immigrants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan – provided they are not Muslim. The controversial law would apply to religious minorities persecuted on religious grounds, including Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians.

The bill, originally passed by India’s parliament in 2019, could not come into effect until the rules were notified.

Despite being well-received by Modi, a Hindu nationalist, the bill was heavily protested by opposition parties, which claimed it was unconstitutional and marginalized India’s 200-million Muslim population.

Indian Home Minister Amit Shah praised Modi on Monday evening, saying he “delivered on another commitment and realized the promise of the makers of our constitution to the Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians living in those countries” in a post on X.

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