Sunday, May 19, 2024

“CAA treats Muslims as second-class citizens,” CM Pinarayi Vijayan says CAA will not be implemented in Kerala

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday described the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) as a law that creates Muslims in India as second-class citizens and affirmed that it will not be put into effect in the southern state.

“The government has repeatedly stated that the Citizenship Amendment Act, which treats Muslim minorities as second-class citizens, will not be implemented in Kerala. That remains the position. All of Kerala will stand united in opposing this communally divisive law,” Vijayan said in a statement.

His statement came shortly after the Union government announced the implementation of the much-criticised Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019.

This move in haste comes weeks after union home minister Amit Shah declared that the law would be implemented before the Lok Sabha elections.

The Citizenship Amendment Act was approved by Parliament on December 11, 2019. Even though the parliamentary guidelines state that the terms of an act must be published within six months of the legislation coming into force, it has not happened in the case of CAA till now, even after three years.

The Citizenship Amendment Act offers to provide citizenship to immigrants from six minority religious communities “except Muslims” from selected neighbouring countries Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan, on the condition that they have lived in India for six years and entered the country by December 31, 2014.

The criterion behind the selection of these countries and the eviction Muslims from the scope of the legislation was widely criticised since the beginning. Moreover, there were massive protests across the country after the amendment was passed by Parliament in December 2019 and received the presidential assent subsequently.

Due to the functional failure of Assam NRC and the unprecedented magnitude of resistance from the masses, the BJP government was forced to stay on back foot.

At present, the suddenly developed haste in publishing the rules has drawn severe distaste from both the critics and the opposition leaders.

Soon after a government functionary stated that rules for the Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2019 will be notified “much before” the announcement of Lok Sabha elections, many have termed the move an election gimmick to consolidate votes.

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