Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Congress manifesto completely silent on CAA

The manifesto for the 2024 Lok Sabha Elections, titled ‘Nyay Patra’, was unveiled by the Congress party on Friday. The document is completely silent on one of the most controversial and criticised moves of the Narendra Modi government, the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.

The 48-page document, which covers chapters on equity, youth, women, farmers, workers, defending the constitution, economy, federalism, and national security, doesn’t mention a single word about the act or the citizenship debates.

It is noted that the Congress was one of the key Opposition parties that launched protests against the CAA in 2019, soon after the Bill was passed in the Parliament. The country witnessed massive protests by Muslims and Opposition parties in the winter of 2019 against the discriminatory act.

Recently, the Union notified the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) along with crucial rules, taking immediate effect as per a Union Gazette notification. Congress leaders like Shashi Tharoor condemned the act as morally and constitutionally wrong, highlighting that introducing religion as a criterion for citizenship contradicts constitutional principles.

Several criticized the grand old party’s silence on the issue.

One key leader who slammed it is Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who called it “reprehensible silence.”

“The BJP government has implemented the CAA to polarize society. It is aimed at making Muslims second-class citizens in the country. The Congress and its leadership have been maintaining silence on the CAA. Its manifesto has not promised to repeal the CAA. The silence of the Congress in its manifesto on CAA and other draconian laws points out that the party is not serious about the fight against the Sangh Parivar and its Hindutva agenda,” said Vijayan.

Congress’ decision to omit the CAA from its manifesto was “planned,” said the senior CPI(M) leader.

CPIM(M) and DMK, the other key members of the INDIA alliance, where Congress is the main player, in their manifestos, pledged to scrap “draconian laws” such as the CAA.

“The Congress manifesto has totally turned a blind eye to the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), the most contentious and anti-constitutional law enacted by the Sangh Parivar regime that divides citizens based on their religious faith,” criticized the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI).

The manifesto also does not speak about Article 370, which the party supported. However, the Congress promised that it would immediately restore full statehood to Jammu and Kashmir besides vowing to amend the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution to include the tribal areas of Ladakh.

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