Accusing Congress president Sonia Gandhi of "misleading" people over the Citizenship Amended Act (CAA) and equating it "falsely" with the National Register for Citizens (NRC), Union Minister and senior BJP leader Nirmala Sitharaman said that CAA has not even been formulated as yet.

Nirmala Sitharaman
Nirmala Sitharaman appealed to protesters to read the law and seek clarification if they needed one.Reuters

The BJP issued a statement, in which Sitharaman appealed to protesters to read the law and seek clarification if they needed one, and urged them to stay away from the forces which are "misleading" them and using "violence and spreading fear" among citizens of India.

"I appeal to all Indian citizens not to get into this confusion or sense of fear. The Congress and parties like the TMC, AAP and the Left are spreading fears by linking the Citizenship Amendment Act with the NRC, which is not yet formulated," Sitharaman said.

"I appeal to every Indian not to get influenced by what the frustrated Congress, TMC, AAP and Left are doing," she added.

The Citizenship Amendment Act does not deny citizenship to any Indian, she said, asserting that the law has nothing to do actually with any Indian citizen.

"It is unfortunate that Congress's interim president Sonia Gandhi is misleading the people of the country over CAA and equating it falsely with NRC which is not even formulated yet," she said.

The Citizenship Act will give citizenship to people who fled persecution, she said, adding they had been waiting for it for 70 years. "It has nothing to do with existing citizens of this country," she said, asserting that when NRC process will start, it will not start without consulting the stakeholders or talking to people.

Does the CAA affect any Indian citizen?

Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019

CAA has nothing to do with any Indian citizen in any way, the government said. The Indian citizens enjoy Fundamental Rights conferred on them by the Constitution of India. No statute including the CAA can, abridge or take them away. There has been a misinformation campaign. The CAA does not affect any Indian citizen, including Muslim citizens.

What are the rules for citizenship under CAA?

Appropriate rules under the CAA are being framed. They will operationalise various provisions of the CAA.