After Kerala, Punjab and Rajasthan, today West Bengal too passed a resolution against the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in the state assembly. It become the fourth state to do so, while it also asked the Centre to roll back the National Population Register (NPR) and the proposed implementation of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) throughout India.
Ruling Trinamool Congress today tabled a resolution in the state assembly against the CAA. It was moved by Bengal Parliamentary Affairs Minister Partha Chatterjee at a special session of the House.
The resolution got passed with thumping majority with the Left and the Congress members backing it.
State Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said in the assembly, “We were the first Assembly to discuss the matter in September 2019. We passed a resolution against the NRC (National Register of Citizens). An atmosphere of intolerance and hatred has swept across the country. We cannot support those who aim to divide India.”
Congress MLA and leader of the opposition Abdul Mannan and leader of the Left Front legislature party and CPI-M lawmaker Sujon Chakraborty were present in the House.
Meanwhile, BJP legislator Swadhin Sarkar opposed the resolution.
On January 20, Chief Minister Banerjee announced that a resolution against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act will be passed in the state assembly.
Banerjee and her Trinamool Congress have been at the forefront of the widespread protests against the legislation in the state, which also saw violence and vandalism after the law was passed last month.
The Congress and Left had earlier in the month tried to bring such a resolution in the Assembly but the Trinamool did not agree, and the matter was not included in the list of business of the House.
Since then, these opposition parties had been after the Trinamool, describing its reluctance as another evidence of a covert alliance between Banerjee and prime minister Narendra Modi.
However, after Banerjee’s announcement, Chatterjee wrote to Mannan and Chakraborty seeking their support for the resolution.
The Communist Party of India-Marxist-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) government in Kerala and Congress-ruled Punjab and Rajasthan have already passed resolutions in the respective Assemblies demanding scrapping of the controversial CAA.
Earlier, on January 22, state parliamentary affairs minister Partha Chatterjee said the TMC had submitted a resolution under rule 169 to the Assembly Speaker on 20 January, which will come up in the house on coming Monday.
Faced by a lot of “rumours and canards” from the fellow opposition parties over its position regarding CAA and NPR, Chatterjee said they “do not need lessons from others on how to continue its fight against CAA-NPR-NRC.”
“We have submitted a resolution to the Speaker on Janauary 20 regarding it. The resolution against CAA will be placed in the state assembly on 27 January. Our government in principle is opposed to CAA,” Mr Chatterjee said. The Left Front and the Congress have been criticising the TMC for not adopting a resolution against the CAA. The state Assembly has earlier passed an all party resolution, baring BJP, against NRC in September last year.
BJP ridiculing the Trinamul had earlier said that the Trinamul Congress (TMC) moved to bring resolution in the state Assembly against CAA will be an exercise in futility as well states are bound to follow a piece of legislature once it was passed in the Parliament.
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao has also announced that the state Assembly will pass a resolution against the Act.
The CAA, passed in Parliament last month, seeks to provide Indian nationality to Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Parsis, Jains and Buddhists fleeing persecution in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh before December 31, 2014.
As per the Act, such communities will not be treated as illegal immigrants now and will be given Indian citizenship.
The Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress has been going all out against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, National Population Register (NPR) and National Register of Citizens (NRC). Banerjee has been regularly leading rallies and addressing public meetings on these issues.
States of West Bengal, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Delhi, Punjab, Chhattisgarh have announced that they will not implement either the National Register of Citizens (NRC) or the Citizenship Amendment Act.
Meanwhile, the Union Cabinet has approved Rs 8,500 crore for updating the National Population Register (NPR), which is said to be the first step in implementing the National Register of Citizens (NRC).
With the ongoing debate over NPR and NRC, the Congress has accused the BJP government of bringing the NRC in the garb of the NPR and claimed that questions related to the NRC will be asked in the pre-test forms for the NPR.
West Bengal and Kerala are the only two states which have stopped the NPR procedures since they believe it is the first step for the contentious NRC.