Kochi: A special session of the Kerala Assembly, which began here on Tuesday, passed a resolution against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) moved by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. Both ruling LDF and opposition benches voted in support while the lone BJP member A O Rajagopal opposed terming it ‘unconstitutional’. The motion asked the Union Government to repeal the Act.
Moving the motion, the Chief Minister said that the BJP government was implementing the agenda of RSS that of dividing the nation on communal lines by passing the Act in the Parliament. He categorically said that the State will not open any detention centres to lodge those who reside in the state in violation of the Act.
“Kerala has a long history of secular traditions and we will uphold that,” Mr Vijayan said and added that CAA violated the fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution and is against the secular fabric of the country. He said that citizenship cannot be granted on the basis of religion.
He also said that conducting Census as per the present norms raises serious concern and this should be addressed by the Centre.
The Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithaala demanded the State Government not to participate in the Census activity in its present form where alterations have been made in the questionnaire. He also asked the state government to implead in the case on CAA in the Supreme Court.
The one-day special session was convened with the primary aim of ratifying extension of reservation for SC and ST for another decade but the CAA issue was first taken up with a House consensus.
Opposing the motion, Rajagopal termed it illegal as the Act has been passed by the Parliament and said those who came to divide the country were protesting against the Act.
Congress’ V D Satheesan said the NRC and CAA are two sides of the same coin. “The CAA is a clear violation of Articles 13, 14 and 15 of the Constitution.”