Two Indian-origin MEPs, Dinesh Dhamija and Neena Gill, were among a host of members who spoke up in Indiaâ€™s favour. (Photo Credit: File Photo-Twitter)
In a diplomatic win for India, expected vote on the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act by Members of the European Parliament today has been postponed till March. The debate opened with a statement by Helena Dalli, the Vice-President of the European Commission and High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, who spoke strongly in favour of the “rich, frank and open” relationship the European Union (EU) shares with India.
She highlighted Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s upcoming visit to Brussels in March for the 15th India-EU Summit.
“We believe that it is the role of the Supreme Court of India to assess the compliance of the law with the Constitution and we are confident that the ongoing judicial process will contribute to appeasing the tensions and violence witnessed over the past weeks in the country,” said Dalli.
According to the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan till December 31, 2014 and face religious persecution there will not be treated as illegal immigrants but given Indian citizenship.
Two Indian-origin MEPs, Dinesh Dhamija and Neena Gill, were among a host of members who spoke up in India’s favour to point out elements of “disinformation” around the CAA and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) within the parliamentary motion.
Pakistan-origin MEP Shaffaq Mohammed and others such as S&D’s John Howarth and VERTS/ALE’s Scott Ainslie described the CAA as a “highly discriminatory” legislation and alleged that the EU had crumbled in the face of India’s diplomatic lobby and prioritised trade and business interests over human rights concerns by postponing a vote on the motion.
Earlier, taking strong objections to resolutions being moved in the European Parliament against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla conveyed to the head of the European Union's (EU) legislative body on Monday it was inappropriate for one legislature to pass judgements on another and the practice could be misused by vested interests.
Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu also asserted that there was no scope for outside interference in India's internal matters and the country was capable of addressing its concerns on its own.
The ruling BJP and the Congress also weighed in on the resolutions before the European Parliament, with the former questioning the objectivity of the members of the EU Parliament and the latter accusing the saffron party of internationalising the citizenship issue.