Reiterating its stand against the implementation of Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC), Kerala government Friday (February 7) presented the state finance budget 2020-21 with the picture of Mahatma Gandhi assassination on the cover.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan led-government has since come under the spotlight and had to issue a clarification for the painting done by Kerala artist Tom Vattakuzhy.
Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac who delivered a budget speech with sharp political overtones in the state assembly today issued a clarification saying that the cover meant to be a political statement.
“Definitely, it is a political statement, the cover of my budget speech. It is a painting by a Malayalam artist of Mahatma Gandhi’s murder scene. We are sending out a message that we will not forget who murdered Gandhi.”
He also alleged that history is being re-written and National Register of Citizens (NRC) is being used to divide the country on communal lines.
“This is important at the times when history is being re-written. There is an attempt to erase some popular memories and use NRC to divide the population on communal lines. Kerala will stand united.”
However, according to NDTV, Congress claimed that putting Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination on the cover page of the budget document was inappropriate. “They could have avoided featuring the assassination of the Father of the Nation on the cover page. Even though we are all fighting against the RSS-BJP and communal forces, this budget speech cover should have been avoided. It wasn’t appropriate, in my opinion,” said opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala.
NRC is an official record of those people who are legal citizens of India. The dossier includes demographic information about all those individuals who qualify as citizens of India as per the Citizenship Act, 1955.
The register was first prepared after the 1951 Census of India and since then it has not been updated until recently.