After West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee voiced her opposition to the Citizenship Amendment Bill, her Punjab and Kerala counterparts have also expressed their apprehensions regarding the contentious legislation. Much before Parliament’s nod to the bill, Mamata had made her stand clear about the bill. Addressing a gathering in Kharagpur, she had said, “Don’t be scared of CAB (Citizenship Amendment Bill). We are with you. As long as we are here nobody can impose anything on you.”
Punjab CM Amarinder Singh termed the bill an assault on India’s secular character and added Parliament had “no authority” to pass a law that “defiled” the Constitution. After the bill was passed in Rajya Sabha, he said that the central govt should have discussed the matter with all parties and tried to evolve a consensus.
“The Congress government in the state, on its part, would not let the legislation rip apart the secular fabric of the country, whose strength lies in its diversity”, Punjab CM added.
Moreover, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday termed the bill Citizenship ‘unconstitutional’. “Kerala will not accept Citizenship Amendment Bill. Bill is unconstitutional.
Centre is trying to divide India on religious lines. This is a move to sabotage equality and secularism,” Pinarayi Vijayan said. “...with CAB, Sangh Parivar has used the majority they enjoy in the parliament to uproot the bedrock of Indian democracy & Constitution. It’s a rejection of secularism. BJP has made it clear that their main political plank is communalism. We must resist,” Vijayan said in a tweet.
Our democracy is in danger. With CAB, Sangh Parivar has used the majority they enjoy in the parliament to uproot the bedrock of Indian democracy & Constitution. It's a rejection of secularism. BJP has made it clear that their main political plank is communalism. We must resist.— Pinarayi Vijayan (@vijayanpinarayi) December 12, 2019
Rajya Sabha on Wednesday approved the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, completing the legislative procedure for giving Indian citizenship to non-Muslim migrants from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
The Bill seeks to give citizenship to non-Muslim migrants who have come to India from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh after facing religious persecution.
(With PTI inputs)