Bengaluru: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan Friday asked 11 of his counterparts, including from West Bengal, Delhi and Maharashtra, to pass resolutions in their respective state assemblies, demanding the scrapping of the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
Vijayan wrote letters to the CMs of Punjab (Captain Amarinder Singh), Jharkhand (Hemant Soren), Andhra Pradesh (Jagan Mohan Reddy), Puducherry (V. Narayanasamy), Madhya Pradesh (Kamal Nath), Rajasthan (Ashok Gehlot), Odisha (Naveen Patnaik), West Bengal (Mamata Banerjee), Bihar (Nitish Kumar), Delhi (Arvind Kejriwal) and Maharashtra (Uddhav Thackeray).
In the letter, Vijayan gave the example of the Kerala assembly passing an anti-CAA resolution last week, calling for a repeal of the Act.
The resolution expressed concern regarding the impact the CAA will have on the nation’s secular credentials.
“States, which have the opinion that the CAA should be repealed, can also consider similar steps so that it will be an eye opener to the proponents of the CAA and NRC (National Register of Citizens),” the letter read.
Vijayan further wrote that apprehensions have grown among large sections of the society due to the CAA.
“The need of the hour is unity amongst all Indians who wish to protect and preserve our cherished values of democracy and secularism. People from various cross-sections of the society, irrespective of any difference they might have, need to stand united in preserving the basic tenets of our polity which is the first cornerstone of Indian democracy,” the letter said.
‘Vijayan has taken leadership in seeking support over CAA’
Both the ruling Left Democratic Front and the opposition Congress-led United Democratic Front came together to pass the anti-CAA resolution. But it came in for criticism from the BJP.
Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the Kerala government’s decision was unconstitutional. He also said the states have a “constitutional duty” of implementing the laws passed by Parliament.
But Vijayan subsequently said the state assemblies have their own privileges.
Dr J. Prabhash, former Pro-Vice-Chancellor, University of Kerala, feels that with this move, Vijayan has taken the lead in seeking support from all the non-BJP ruled states with regard to CAA.
“The narrative from now will be such that there will be two cleavages — one social and religious, which would be seen as Hindutva versus the rest of society, and the other a political cleavage, which would translate as the BJP versus the other political parties,” Prabhash told The Print.
Also read: Vijayan calls Kerala students in Mangaluru back home after Karnataka minister’s charges
It will be wonderful if the apex court pronounces definitively on this issue at the earliest.
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