Bengaluru: Hyderabad has become the first Indian city to pass a resolution against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) Saturday unanimously passed a resolution against the CAA, stating that it “has resolved to support the stand of the Telangana government against the Citizenship Amendment Act”.
The GHMC has a total of 150 seats, of which the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) has 99 seats and the Asaduddin Owaisi-led AIMIM, an ally of the TRS, has 44 seats. The remaining seats are held by the BJP (4 seats), the Congress (2) and the Telugu Desam Party (1).
The civic body resolution also thanked Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao, better known as KCR, for promising to bring a “resolution in the state assembly against the CAA in the ensuing assembly session”.
On Republic Day, KCR had openly opposed the citizenship Act, announcing that he might call a meeting with chief ministers from around India to pressure the Modi government into repealing it.
Resolution causes NPR, NRC row
The resolution courted controversy after AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi tweeted that it was also against the National Population Register (NPR).
— Asaduddin Owaisi (@asadowaisi) February 8, 2020
Hyderabad mayor Dr Bonthu Rammohan, however, told ThePrint that the resolution was only against the CAA and not against the NPR or the National Register of Citizens (NRC).
“It is very clear, the resolution that we have passed is only against CAA, not NPR or NRC. That is for the government to take a call on,” he said.
Rammohan also distanced himself from Owaisi’s tweet, saying it was a “separate statement” and not part of the resolution.
Syed Aminul Hasan Jafri, an AIMIM member of the Telangana Legislative Council, however, said that the mayor did not read the prepared speech. “The resolution adopted in the GHMC included the CAA and the NRC,” Jafri reiterated.
A source in the Telangana government said that since the TRS’s stand on the NPR is still unclear, the Hyderabad civic body played it safe by not passing a resolution against the NPR and the NRC.
“The tweet is typical of Owaisi’s brand of politics to instigate the BJP and the core Hindutva voters and gain political mileage,” said political analyst Palwai Raghavendra Reddy.
The CAA seeks to ease citizenship for non-Muslim refugees from India’s Muslim-majority neighbours — Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. The NRC, whose error-riddled implementation in Assam triggered much controversy last year, is meant to identify illegal immigrants settled across India.
The NPR, which seeks to identify long-term residents of an area for better welfare delivery and doesn’t require any documents, was first carried out under the UPA government.
Also read: Asaduddin Owaisi’s dream is coming true
Why news media is in crisis & How you can fix it
India needs free, fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism even more as it faces multiple crises.
But the news media is in a crisis of its own. There have been brutal layoffs and pay-cuts. The best of journalism is shrinking, yielding to crude prime-time spectacle.
ThePrint has the finest young reporters, columnists and editors working for it. Sustaining journalism of this quality needs smart and thinking people like you to pay for it. Whether you live in India or overseas, you can do it here.