A day after Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad slammed the Kerala government for passing a resolution against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan too has come out and said the Kerala state assembly’s resolution is illegal and unconstitutional.
Slamming the Kerala government, Governor Arif Mohammad Khan said, “This resolution has no legal or constitutional validity.”
Khan said the Kerala assembly’s resolution is unconstitutional “because citizenship is exclusively a central subject.”
“This (the assembly’s resolution) actually means nothing,” Governor Arif Mohammad Khan said.
WHAT IS THE RESOLUTION ABOUT?
On Tuesday, the Kerala assembly passed a resolution demanding scrapping of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). With this, Kerala became the first state to oppose legislatively the controversial citizenship law that has triggered nationwide protests.
Setting aside their political differences, Kerala’s CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front(LDF) and Opposition Congress-headed United Democratic Front(UDF) once again came together to launch a joint offensive against the Centre on the CAA.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who moved the resolution and Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala of the Congress, who seconded it, alleged that the CAA was an attempt to make India a religious nation.
The chief minister said the implementation of the act will lead to religion-based discrimination in granting citizenship, which was against the secular values enshrined in the Constitution.
Just because both houses of Parliament have passed the CAA, it cannot be implemented as the act was against constitutional values, the CPI-M veteran said.
While all members of two fronts unanimously supported the resolution and vehemently criticised the Centre, O Rajagopal, the lone BJP MLA in the 140-member house, opposed the resolution, terming it as “illegal and unconstitutional.”
Rajagopal rejected the charge, saying the Act was being “misinterpreted” and lies were being spread by the fronts for narrow political gains.
DMK asks Tamil Nadu govt to follow suit
Meanwhile, in Tamil Nadu, opposition DMK has urged the ruling AIADMK to follow the Kerala example.
“It is the overwhelming desire of the people of this country that every state assembly should adopt such a resolution to guard the basic features of the Constitution,” the DMK chief MK Stalin said in a Facebook post.
Stalin urged Chief Minister K Palaniswami to adopt a similar resolution in the Tamil Nadu Assembly on January 6 when the House convenes for the first session of 2020.
Demand also in Maharahstra
Congress leader Mohammed Arif Naseem Khan said that as in Kerala, the Maharashtra Assembly should pass a resolution demanding scrapping of the CAA.
Khan, vice president of the Maharashtra state Congress unit and former minister, demanded that Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray convene a special sitting of the Assembly for this purpose. Congress is part of the Shiv Sena-led government in Maharashtra.