TMC moves 6 amendments to President’s speech; question silence on J-K, CAA, and economic slowdown
The TMC has moved amendments to the President’s address delivered on Friday (January 31) at the beginning of the budget session, raising questions on his “silence” on issues relating to CAA protests, economic slowdown and Kashmir clampdown.
The move has opened the doors of discussion on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) in Parliament, which has witnessed nationwide protests.
President Ram Nath Kovind on Friday hailed the CAA as “historic” in his address to the joint sitting of both houses of Parliament, prompting protests by some opposition members.
Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’Brien and Rajya Sabha chief whip Sukhendu Sekhar Ray have moved amendments on behalf of the party in Rajya Sabha pertaining to the “silence” of the president on the ongoing protest against the CAA and demanding that the speech include the proposed nationwide National Register of Citizens (NRC), and the National Population Register (NPR).
According to party sources, amendments will be moved in Lok Sabha as well. The Trinamool Congress (TMC) has 22 MPs in Lok Sabha and 13 in Rajya Sabha.
The party has moved six amendments to the President’s address.
The sources said the TMC’s amendments say that at the end of the speech a “regret that the address fails to acknowledge the hardships and anxieties of people caused due to the passing of the CAA, and fails to allay people’s fear of a nationwide NRC and NPR” be added.
Another sought the expression of regret that the speech did not take into account the “hardships of peaceful protesters, including students who were illegally detained, denied medical care, lathi-charged, fired at and subjected to other forms of torture.”
Among the other amendments moved include “absence of the mention of economic slowdown, drop of India’s rank on the Global Press Freedom Index, EIU’s Global Democracy Index and a low rank on the Global Hunger Index, failure to condemn hate speech and divisive statements made by ministers and MPs and silence over the six-month long detention of political leaders, including sitting MP from Jammu and Kashmir and former chief ministers of the state.”
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill was passed in Lok Sabha on December 4 and a week later in Rajya Sabha.
It seeks to grant Indian citizenship to Hindus, Jains, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan if they have fled their respective country due to religious persecution.