Union minister and West Bengal MP Shantanu Thakur on Saturday said that he will “apply for citizenship” under the Citizenship Amendment Act to counter the “false propaganda” against it by the Trinamool Congress, India Today reported.

“One can apply for citizenship by taking a character certificate or related papers from any registered social organisation,” the Union Minister of State for Ports, Shipping and Waterways said. “I will also apply for citizenship, although my great-grandmother took citizenship through migration and I don’t need to apply.”

The Act aims to fast-track citizenship for undocumented migrants from six minority religious communities, except Muslims, from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan, on the condition that they have lived in India for six years and had entered the country by December 31, 2014. The Centre notified the rules under the Act on March 11.

Hours after the rules were notified, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had said that if individuals were sent to detention camps in the name of the Citizenship Amendment Act, the Trinamool Congress would “stop that ploy”.

The Trinamool Congress has contended that those who apply for citizenship afresh under the Citizenship Amendment Act would become ineligible for Aadhaar-linked welfare schemes, and that their existing identification documents would become useless, The Times of India reported.

On Saturday, Thakur, whose ancestors hailed from Bangladesh, said that he would apply under the Citizenship Amendment Act to counter the propaganda against it by the Trinamool Congress. “I want to see if I can be deprived of facilities after being applied for citizenship,” he added.

Commenting on his statement, West Bengal minister Chandrima Bhattacharya said: “We are waiting when Shantanu Thakur will apply because as soon as he applies, his ministership goes as he is no longer a citizen of India.”