Congress-ruled Rajasthan on Saturday passed a resolution against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in the state assembly, becoming the third state to do so after Kerala and Punjab.
The Rajasthan Assembly on Saturday tabled a resolution against the new citizenship law CAA, NRC and NPR with the opposition BJP strongly protesting the Congress-led move.
As soon as state Parliamentary Affairs Minister Shanti Dhariwal presented the resolution in the Assembly, BJP MLAs went on the offensive with some of them crowding into the well of the House and shouted slogans.
The ruling Congress resolution said that CAA “flouts the basic nature of the Constitution and that a substantial section of people believes that National Population Register (NPR) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) have the same base”.
The Census should continue only after taking back the new provision as introduced in NPR, it read.
The resolution further stated that amendments introduced recently under CAA “divides people on religious grounds” and also “deprive a particular community of availing Indian citizenship”.
It said many people will face inconveniences with the proposed additional information as sought under the CAA. Assam is a living example, it said.
It demanded the Centre to revoke amendments in CAA and clear doubts on NPR.
“Our Constitution clearly says India is a secular nation and Article 14 makes it clear that no person in the territory of India will be deprived of equality before law or equal protection of laws. The goal of the Citizenship Amendment Act-2019 i.e. CAA is to differentiate illegal immigrants on the basis of religion”.
It said after independence, for the first time in the history of the country, such a law has been brought which differentiates people on the basis of religion. This will put the country’s secular fabric at risk.
“No provision has been made in the CAA regarding migrants from other neighboring countries such as Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Nepal and Bhutan, which raises many questions,” it added.
The Punjab Assembly last Friday passed a resolution moved by the ruling Congress demanding scrapping of the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act.
Before that, on December 31, 2019, Kerala Assembly passed a resolution demanding the withdrawal of CAA.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who moved the resolution and Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala, who seconded it, alleged that CAA was an attempt to make India a religious nation.
The states of West Bengal, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Delhi, Chhattisgarh had earlier announced that they will not implement either the National Register of Citizens (NRC) or the Citizenship Amendment Act.
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.
Meanwhile, the passing of resolutions come as the Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to stay the Citizenship Amendment Act and granted four weeks’ time to the Central government to file a reply on the petitions regarding the same. The top court indicated setting up a Constitution Bench to hear the pleas.
The citizenship law is facing major protests and opposition across the country for giving citizenship on the basis of a person’s religion despite being a secular country according to the constitution. BJP, on the other hand, is also reaching out to the people in a bid to mobilise support for the newly amended citizenship law and “remove misconceptions created by the opposition”.
The CAA grants citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Parsis, Buddhists and Christians fleeing religious persecution from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh and who came to India on or before December 31, 2014. However, when clubbed with the National Register of Citizens which asks people to prove their citizenship through certain documents, many citizens especially minorities, poor, and women fear losing their citizenship since many do not have the required papers to prove their citizenship.