Kerala Says No to CAA

On December 31, 2019, the Kerala Assembly voted in favour of a resolution demanding the annulment of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) passed by both the Houses of the Parliament last month. Similarly, the NPR exercise is also to be abandoned. The resolution was approved by an overwhelming majority of 138:1. The only dissenting member was O. Rajagopal, who is incidentally also the only MLA from BJP.

In a rare instance of unanimity among political rivals, MLAs from both the ruling and opposition parties concurred that the Act is a blow to the secular values enshrined in the Constitution of India. The CPM and Congress have also collectively held protests against CAA in Kerala. The NPR-NRC-CAA nexus is being vehemently condemned as unconstitutional, inherently discriminatory against Muslims and thus also detrimental to the secular fabric of the country.

Chief Minister P. Vijayan likened the RSS to the Nazis who believed in purity of the Aryan race. He observed that these are attempts to “racially purify Hindustan.” Moreover, Ramesh Chennithala, leader of the Opposition, remarked that the Act posed a huge threat to the very idea of India. However, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad thinks little of the move, asserting that only the Parliament can make laws on citizenship.

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It remains to be seen whether and how the other non-BJP ruled states will resist the controversial law. Bihar led by JDU (ally of BJP), BJD-led Odisha and five other states have also opposed the law and distanced themselves from its implementation.

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