It seems Punjab is toeing its southern counterpart Kerala’s line on the Citizenship Amendment Act. Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday (January 16) did not rule out the possibility of bringing in a resolution in the legislative assembly against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) during the ongoing two-day assembly session. (The Kerala Assembly had recently passed a resolution demanding the scrapping of the controversial law, becoming the first state in the country to do so).
“Wait till tomorrow,” Singh said when asked if the government would bring in a resolution, on the lines of Kerala, against CAA.
Punjab’s Congress government had on Tuesday said it would proceed according to the ‘will of the House’ on the issue of CAA, National Register of Citizens (NRC), and National Population Register (NPR). Singh had recently said his government would not allow the implementation of ‘brazenly divisive CAA Act.’
After a cabinet meeting on Thursday, his colleagues in the ministry had expressed concern over the implications of the ‘blatantly unconstitutional and divisive CAA, NRC and NPR.’
They had also expressed alarm on the violence over the issue, which they said ‘threatened to rip apart the secular fabric of the nation.’ “The ministers were of the view that the matter was bound to be raised during the two-day session of the assembly on January 16-17 and it was unanimously decided that the government should accept the will of the House,” an official statement had said then.
The chief minister had earlier said the CAA, particularly when coupled with the NRC and NPR, ‘violated’ the Preamble to the Constitution.
Also read: Kerala takes its anti-CAA fight to SC
Amarinder Singh had said neither he nor the Congress were against granting citizenship to the minorities persecuted on the basis of religion but they were completely opposed to the ‘discrimination in the CAA against certain religious communities, including Muslims.’ The CAA makes it easier for Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists, Jains and Parsis to get citizenship if they have entered India before 2015, following religious persecution in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
In another first, Kerala had also moved the Supreme Court by invoking Article 131 thereby necessitating the apex court to hear the state’s plea to quash CAA