Punjab Assembly calls for repeal of CAA
Punjab on Friday became the first Congress-ruled state to pass a resolution asking the Centre to repeal the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) that has triggered the nationwide protests on for a month now.
The resolution passed in the Punjab Assembly said: “The CAA 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.”
Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh tweeted: “I have sworn on the Constitution & I will continue to fulfil my duty as a loyal soldier. Sri Guru Nanak Devji had said ‘Na koi Hindu, Na Mussalman’ & it is in this spirit Punjab Vidhan Sabha passed the resolution to appeal to the Central Government to repeal CAA for India’s interest.”
While the Aam Aadmi Party supported the resolution, the Akali Dal opposed it despite its assertion that Muslims should not be excluded from the ambit of the law.
The Kerala Assembly was the first to pass such a resolution.
All Congress-ruled states have unambiguously rejected the CAA-NPR and the chief ministers even led public rallies against the CAA. While the Congress has formally asked the Centre to withdraw the CAA and stop the NPR, senior leader Jairam Ramesh has filed a petition in the Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of the amended law.
The Punjab chief minister said in the Assembly that the entire country was witnessing resentment against the CAA and there was turmoil even in the educational institutions. Singh said his government, too, will move the Supreme Court to challenge the CAA, like Kerala has done.
The resolution said: “The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, 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. The CAA is aimed at distinguishing illegal migrants on the basis of religion, which is not permissible under the Constitution. It is also violative of Article 14 of the Constitution, which guarantees the Right to Equality and equal protection of the laws to all persons.”
The resolution added: “The ideology behind the CAA is thus inherently discriminatory and is as far away as it can be from being a humanitarian measure. In the backdrop of these facts, it is evident that the CAA violates the secular identity of India, which is the basic feature of our Constitution; therefore, the House resolves to urge upon 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.”
On the NPR, the resolution said: “Given the apprehensions about National Register of Citizens (NRC) and that the National Population Register (NPR) 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.”
Singh later told reporters: “The issue of the CAA has shaken the entire country. The youth have understood that what the central government is doing is unconstitutional. What is happening in this country? We need to learn from history. In the 1930s, the same happened in Europe. First, they were against communists, then they were against Jews.
This is religious cleansing. Akalis have forgotten the teachings of even Guru Nanak while supporting the CAA.
I will gift Hitler’s memoir Mein Kampf to all the Akalis so that they would know how fascist ideology is being implemented.”