The Punjab Assembly on Friday passed resolution against the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act even as Chief Minister (CM) Amarinder Singh said his government like Kerala will approach the Supreme Court on the issue.
Shortly after the Punjab Assembly passed a resolution by voice vote against the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act or CAA, CM said the Centre will have to make the necessary amendments to the CAA if it has to be implemented in Punjab and other states opposing the legislation.
“Like Kerala, our government will also approach the Supreme Court on the issue,” Singh told reporters in an informal chat outside the state Assembly. In response to a question, the chief minister made it clear that the Census 2021 will be conducted on the old parameters in Punjab.
The new factors added by the Centre for the purpose of the National Population Register (NPR) will not be included, he added.
The resolution moved by the Congress government got the support of the main opposition Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). The Shriomani Akali Dal (SAD), an alliance partner of the BJP in the state, opposed the resolution but protested against not inclusion of the Muslims under the CAA.
The resolution was moved by local bodies and parliamentary affairs minister Brahm Mohindra on the last day of the two-day special session. During the discussion on the resolution, the Narendra Modi government at the Centre, along with their allies drew flak from members of the Congress and AAP over “vicious and destructive attempt to polarise and divide the country through the unconstitutional CAA”.
Speaking during a discussion on the subject after Cabinet minister Brahm Mohindra introduced in the Assembly a resolution seeking repeal of CAA, Cabinet minister Razia Sultana said the Constitution’s founders would have never thought that the cherished ideals enshrined by them would be trampled over in this manner one day.
In a democracy, both majority and minority communities are taken along together to ensure the nation’s progress, she said, adding that the BJP had persistently been trying to divide people on religious lines.
Questioning the intention of the centre, finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal said the CAA had been introduced to single out one particular religion and this will perpetuate sectarian tendencies. The resolution was an attempt to raise the voice of all those whom the central government was illegally trying to target on religious grounds, he said.
Referring to the 1947 partition of the country, he said Punjab had not demanded the division even then and more than 10 lakh lives had been lost in that tragic period. India’s ethos would be tarnished if the Act was not repealed, he warned.
Leader of the Opposition Harpal Singh Cheema described the CAA as the hidden agenda of RSS to terrorise the minorities and Dalits with the sole motive of polarising the country on religious lines.