Updated: January 2, 2020 12:01:19 pm
Two days after the Kerala Assembly passed a resolution demanding scrapping of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), Governor Arif Mohammad Khan on Thursday said it has no legal or constitutional validity. “This resolution has no legal or constitutional validity because citizenship is exclusively a central subject, this actually means nothing,” said Khan, who abruptly ended his speech at the inauguration of the Indian History Congress in Kannur after delegates protested against the Act.
The resolution — the first such move by a state against the CAA — was moved by CPM leader and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, and seconded by Congress leader and Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala. The CPM and Congress had earlier organised a joint protest against the law in the state.
On Tuesday, 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.
Vijayan also said that the contentious act had “dented India’s image in front of the international community” and ensured the Assembly that there won’t be any detention centres in the southern state. Hitting out strongly against the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS), BJP’s ideological parent, the Kerala CM alleged 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.
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.
On Wednesday, political acrimony over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act intensified with Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad reading Constitutional provisions to state governments, saying they would have to implement the Act, while Vijayan reminded the Centre that state assemblies have their own privileges. Prasad cited Constitutional clauses and asked state governments to get “better legal advises”.
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