The Ministry of External Affairs Thursday said that India has reached out to countries across all geographic regions on the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC). At a media briefing in the national capital today, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, “We did reach out to countries across the globe on Citizenship Amendment Act and the NRC. We emphasised that the Act (CAA) just expedites acquiring of citizenship to persecuted minorities. It does not change the basic structure of the Constitution.”
The Foreign Ministry further said, “Our missions have been asked to share prospectus on the Citizenship Amendment Act with the host government.”
For more than a few weeks, the country has witnessed widespread protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) which grants citizenship to non-Muslim minorities from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh, especially in combination with the proposed all-India National Register of Citizens (NRC).
At least three Opposition ruled states — Kerala, Punjab and West Bengal — have said they will not implement the new citizenship law, and a clutch of petitions wanting it to be struck down are before the Supreme Court.
Earlier today, during his two-day visit to Karnataka, Prime Minister Narendra Modi slammed Congress for opposing the amended Citizenship law, accusing the party and its allies of taking out rallies against persecuted minorities in Pakistan while keeping mum about atrocities inflicted on them by the country. At a rally in Karnataka’s Tumakuru, Modi defended the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, saying “we have a responsibility to protect the persecuted minorities in Pakistan” and that they can’t be left to their fate.
“Anti-CAA protestors should raise their voice against Pakistan’s atrocities of the past, he said. “Pakistan was formed on the basis of religion, religious minorities were being persecuted there. The persecuted were forced to come to India as refugees. But Congress and its allies don’t speak against Pakistan, instead they are taking out rallies against these refugees,” he added.
On Wednesday, political discontent over the CAA further intensified after Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad read the Constitutional provisions to state governments, saying they would have to implement the Act.
Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, whose resolution seeking scrapping of the Act was passed in the Assembly, reminded the Centre that state assemblies have their own privileges. Prasad cited Constitutional clauses and asked state governments to get “better legal advises” after the Kerala Assembly had passed a resolution demanding scrapping of the Act.
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