After Kerala, Punjab becomes second state to pass resolution against Citizenship Amendment Act in state Assembly; says CAA is opposed to fair democracy

  • The resolution passed by the Punjab government said that the amended law seeks to negate the very secular fabric on which the Constitution of India is based.

  • State Minister Brahm Mohindra moved the resolution against the CAA on the second day of the two-day special Assembly session.

  • Punjab becomes the second state after Kerala take such a step. The Kerala Assembly on 31 December, 2019 had passed a resolution demanding scrapping of the controversial CAA.

The Congress-led government in Punjab passed a resolution in the state Assembly on Friday demanding the scrapping of the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). State minister Brahm Mohindra moved the resolution against the CAA on the second day of the two-day special Assembly session.

"The CAA enacted by Parliament has caused countrywide anguish and social unrest with widespread protests all over the country. The state of Punjab also witnessed protests against this legislation, which were peaceful and involved all segments of our society," Mohindra said while reading out the resolution.

 After Kerala, Punjab becomes second state to pass resolution against Citizenship Amendment Act in state Assembly; says CAA is opposed to fair democracy

File image of anti-CAA protesters at Shaheen Bagh. PTI

The resolution said that the amended law on citizenship seeks to negate the very secular fabric on which the Constitution of India is based.

"It is divisive and stands for everything opposed to a free and fair democracy, which must enshrine equality for all. Alongside the religion-based discrimination in granting citizenship, it is apprehended that the CAA is also likely to endanger the linguistic and cultural identity of some sections of our people. CAA also envisages cancellation of the registration of Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) cardholders, if they violate any law," the resolution said.

It further said that the CAA is aimed at distinguishing between illegal migrants on the basis of religion, which is not permissible under the Constitution that guarantees the right to equality and equal protection of the laws to all persons.

The ideology behind the CAA is "inherently discriminatory and as far away as it can be from being a humanitarian measure," the resolution alleged. "In the backdrop of these facts, it is evident that the CAA violates the secular identity of India, which is basic feature of our Constitution, therefore, the House resolves to urge the Government of India to repeal the CAA to avoid any discrimination on the basis of religion in granting citizenship and to ensure equality before law for all religious groups in India”.

"Given the apprehensions about National Register of Citizens and that the National Population Register is a prelude to the NRC designed to deprive a section of persons from citizenship of India and implement CAA, this House further resolves that Central government should amend the forms/documentation associated with the NPR to allay such apprehension in the minds of the people and only thereafter undertake work of enumeration under NPR," the resolution said.

Punjab became the second state after Kerala to take such a step. The Kerala Assembly on 31 December, 2019 had passed a resolution demanding scrapping of the controversial CAA.

Furthermore, chief ministers of non-BJP ruled states like Mamata Banerjee of West Bengal have announced that they would not implement CAA. But Left-ruled Kerala was the first to take the legislature route to register its opposition to the law.

Setting aside their political differences, the ruling CPM-led LDF and Opposition Congress headed UDF, once again came together to launch a joint fight against the Centre on the CAA, which has seen unprecedented protests all over the country.

While all the members of two fronts unanimously supported the resolution at the special session and vehemently criticised the central government, the lone BJP MLA in the 140-member house opposed the resolution, terming it as "illegal and unconstitutional."

Slamming the Pinarayi Vijayan-led government, Governor Arif Mohammad Khan on Thursday criticised it for challenging the CAA before the Supreme Court and said that "common courtesy demanded that prior permission" should have been taken from him.

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Jan 17, 2020 14:20:29 IST