Congress-ruled Puducherry on Wednesday became the sixth assembly to adopt a resolution against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). Puducherry is the first Union Territory to have adopted such a resolution.
The resolution said the law was “totally opposed to the principles of secularism” and demanding its withdrawal.
Earlier, assemblies in Congress-ruled Rajasthan, Punjab and Chhattisgarh; and left-ruled Kerala and TMC’s West Bengal passed resolutions against the controversial law.
In Madhya Pradesh, which is also ruled by the Congress, the Cabinet passed a resolution but the assembly is yet to adopt it.
The Congress announced on Twitter that all Congress-ruled states “have passed a resolution against the unconstitutional CAA.”
“It is the prerogative of the Congress to actively fight for the protection of the Constitution of this country. We made a promise to the people of India & as always we have kept it – all Congress-ruled states have passed a resolution against the unconstitutional CAA,” the party said in a tweet.
Massive protests have erupted against the CAA, National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the National Population Register (NPR) across the country with women taking a lead in the movement.
While Congress has been openly critical about the law, and has opposed the proposed the NRC and the NPR, Pinarayi Vijayan and Mamata Banerjee – chief ministers of Kerala and West Bengal respectively – are in the forefront of the movements against the CAA-NRC-NPR.
Puducherry: Oppn boycott, Bedi opposes
Amidst an opposition boycott, the one-day special session of the union territory assembly adopted the resolution tabled by Chief Minister V Narayanasamy, who chose to ignore Lt Governor Kiran Bedi’s missive against the move.
Bedi in a letter on Monday had said the act passed by Parliament is applicable to the union territory and “cannot be questioned or deliberated in any manner.”
Later making an intervention when two ministers accused Bedi of ‘hampering’ implementation of government decisions, Narayansamy said he opened her letter only now and it only contained what she had already shared with media, asking him not to table the anti-CAA resolution.
Wondering how a letter marked ‘confidential’ was circulated to media, he asserted the legislature was an independent authority and none can intrude into its rights and privileges.
“I have already made it clear that come what may we would bring in the anti-CAA resolution. We are ready to face any consequences even if it meant dismissal of theterritorial government,” Narayanasamy said.
Earlier, the assembly also registered strong protest against the NRC and NPR.
Members of the opposition AINRC and AIADMK boycotted the session while the three nominated BJP legislators staged a walk out after registering their objection to the tabling of the resolution.
Of the eight union territories in the country, Puducherry and the National Capital Territory of Delhi each has a legislative assembly and council of ministers.
As soon as Narayansamy started reading out the contents of the resolution, BJP members V Saminathan, K G Shankar and S Selvaganapthy were up on their feet and objected to the moving of the resolution.
They described the resolution as a “murder of democracy” and “violation of constitutional provisions” and trooped out of the House. They did not return for the rest of the session.
The resolution urged the Centre to withdraw the CAA, saying the law was “totally opposed to the principles of secularism.”
After the Chief Minister, his cabinet colleagues and legislators belonging to the Congress and its ally the DMK spoke, the resolution was passed with Speaker V P Sivakolundhu saying it was “adopted unanimously.”
The resolution stated that the enactment of CAA in Parliament had caused “pain and chaos” among the people at large in the country and led to “peaceful agitations across the country”.
The CAA was shattering to pieces the principles of secularism which is the basis of the Constitution, it charged.
Claiming that there was a hidden agenda in the CAA as the Muslims were ignored, it said the law was “totally injurious” to the great sacrifices made by Mahatma Gandhi for protection of secularism.
The resolution alleged that certain forces were trying to introduce religious sentiments by forgetting the path shown by the first Indian Prime Minister, the late Jawaharlal Nehru.
“If there was any space available for the divisive forces it would only mean that a historic blunder would be committed, hitting the cardinal principles of secularism (and) the great sacrifices made by martyrs and freedom fighters of the country.”
The resolution also expressed disappointment over the CAA not including the Sri Lankan Tamils, staying at various places and in refugee camps in the neighbouring Tamil Nadu, for Indian citizenship.
Similarly, the Rohingya Muslims living as refugees in northern states of the country and have also not been included in the Act, it added.
The resolution urged the Centre to withdraw the CAA, NPR and the proposed NRC.
(With PTI inputs)
Courtesy : DNA