Updated: December 31, 2019 1:43:29 pm
The Kerala Assembly Tuesday passed a resolution demanding scrapping of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which was cleared by both Houses of Parliament last month.
The ruling CPI(M)-LDF and the Opposition Congress-led UDF supported the resolution while BJP’s lone MLA and former Union minister O Rajagopal’s was the only dissenting voice in the one-day special session.
While presenting the resolution, Vijayan said the CAA is against the “secular” outlook and fabric of the country and would lead to religion-based discrimination in granting citizenship.
“The Act contradicts the basic values and principles of the Constitution. In view of the anxiety among the people of the country, the Centre should take steps to drop the CAA and uphold the secular outlook of the Constitution,” he said.
The Chief Minister added that the contentious act had “dented India’s image in front of the international community.” Vijayan also ensured the Assembly that there won’t be any detention centres in the southern state.
He hit out strongly against the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS), BJP’s ideological parent, alleging that it is going ahead with a dangerous agenda to break the country’s secular principles and undermine the minorities.
“RSS considers Muslims, Christians and Communists as their internal enemy. In Germany, Hitler similarly saw Jews and Bolsheviks as his internal enemy. RSS’s views are that of Hitler’s,” Vijayan said.
Chennithala, supporting the resolution, said, “The Centre’s aim is to turn India into a theocratic state. That’s why they have brought the CAA. They are going ahead with implementing the national population register (NPR). The Centre cannot go ahead without taking the states into confidence. We’re not against a census but there are changes in the questionnaire. It is creating fear in the minds of people. Through the NPR, they want to implement the NRC.”
Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala had suggested convening a special session of the Assembly to pass the resolution in order to display Kerala’s stern opposition to the law that’s widely criticized as ‘discriminatory’ and ‘violating secular principles’ of the constitution. On Sunday, the CM obliged by convening an all-party meeting to discuss the issue, which the BJP boycotted.
The one-day special session was originally scheduled for ratifying a resolution which is related to extending the reservation of SC/ST communities in Lok Sabha and the Assembly for another 10 years.
Several times in the past, a state Assembly has passed resolutions against policies of successive union governments on issues such as disinvestment and nuclear deal. But, an Assembly debating a resolution against a legislation cleared by Parliament is rare.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines