The Congress and the Left Front on Tuesday welcomed the Trinamul Congress government’s decision to bring a resolution in the state Assembly protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act and termed it as a “positive step”. Lauding the initiative, leader of Opposition in West Bengal Assembly, Abdul Mannan (Congress) said it’s better that the Trinamul has “finally” understood the importance of passing a resolution in the state Assembly.
“When we voiced our demand for such a move, the Trinamul scoffed at it. But, it’s better late than never. The ruling party has, at least been able to realise the need for such a resolution,” Mannan said. Left Front Legislature party leader Sujan Chakraborty said, “We want an anti-CAA resolution to be passed, but, would not take a call unless and until we have a look at the resolution brought in by the Trinamul-government”.
BJP legislature party leader Manoj Tigga, however, said they would oppose the move as it is “unconstitutional” to bring a resolution against a law (CAA) which has been passed in the Parliament. On the other hand, the Trinamul would appeal to all the Opposition parties to extend support to the resolution so that it is passed unanimously. Adoption of the resolution in the house would not be a difficult task since the Trinamul on its own enjoys an overwhelming majority in the 295- member Bengal Assembly.
The development comes just a day after chief minister and Trinamul supremo Mamata Banerjee had said that an anti-CAA resolution would be placed in the Assembly in next few days. Asked whether the government had plans to move the Supreme Court to challenge the law as suggested by the Left, parliamentary affairs minister Partha Chatterjee said, “The government and the party will fight it out on the streets and then take a call, if needed, whether to move the apex court or not”.
Kerala and Punjab assemblies have already passed resolutions against the CAA. The West Bengal state assembly had earlier passed an all-party resolution, excluding the BJP, against NRC in September last year. Meanwhile, the new legislation to give citizenship to persecuted non-Muslim refugees from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan, has emerged as the latest flashpoint in the state, with the TMC opposing the contentious legislation and the BJP pressing for its implementation.
In January this year, during a one-day special session, Opposition Congress and Left Front wanted to bring a resolution against CAA. But their demand was turned down by the government, drawing sharp criticism from both the parties which had termed TMC as “B team” of the BJP in Bengal. Banerjee’s meeting with PM Modi in Kolkata on 11 January had sharpened the charge of a “political match-fixing between the two parties.”