Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy on Thursday claimed the Citizenship (Amendment) Act "ignores" Muslims and that he will not implement the newly enacted law, as well as the NRC, in the Union Territory "come what may". The Congress CM claimed the CAA and the NRC were "ill-conceived" and aimed at achieving the goal of "Hindutva, as championed by the BJP". He said Congress-ruled state governments have decided to not implement the CAA and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and "I will also do so in Puducherry".
As per the CAA, members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who fled religious persecution in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, and have arrived in India before December 31, 2014, will not be treated as illegal immigrants, and they will be given Indian citizenship.
"Even Tamils from Sri Lanka residing in India as refugees were persecuted in the Island country. Why you have left them out? Similar is the case with the Rohingyas," he told PTI over phone.
He alleged that the CAA "ignores" Indian Muslims. "It cannot be done in a partisan way. You have to include people of all the religions. You can't do it selectively for the people of some religions. Come what may, I will not implement CAA and NRC in Puducherry," he said.
On his complaint to President Ram Nath Kovind on December 23, during the latter's visit to Puducherry, seeking immediate recall of Lt Governor Kiran Bedi as "she has been impeding implementation of various welfare measures and decisions of his Cabinet", Narayanasamy said he stood by his charge.
He was yet to receive a response from the President.
He had alleged in the memorandum that Bedi has not contributed anything to the development of Puducherry since she became the Lt Governor and was allegedly functioning "arbitrarily" and was seeking to run a parallel government.
He has also alleged that government schemes that would have seen the light of the day were facing hiccups because of hurdles she has allegedly been creating.
Reacting to the charges, Bedi asked if "being sensitive to the social and spiritual fabrics of Puducherry called for recalls".
Speaking to PTI over phone, she said, "When did opening of casinos, approving opening of breweries in the markets and concurring with widespread lottery selling termed as development in Puducherry? Or termed welfare of people? Especially the poor. The CM had to explain to the people."
She said Puducherry people "do not want any of these business practices".
"Is not concurring with the CM or referring to the Centre a difference of opinion termed irregular, autocratic or illegal? That too when there was a provision under the Union Territory act and business rules approved by the President and the parliament which provided for such situations," she wondered.
Bedi added that the most "insensitive" act by the Congress government was to call a "bandh" against the CAA during peak tourist and business seasons.
People would cancel their visits which would hurt the economy of the UT, she said.