Kerala’s Pinarayi Vijayan, one of the first chief ministers to declare that his government will block implementation of the amended citizenship law and the citizens’ register, on Tuesday got the state assembly to back him up.
Pinarayi Vijayan, while delivering his sharp message to the BJP-led national coalition after the assembly voted 138:1 in favour of the resolution that demands the Centre scrap amendments to the citizenship law and the National Population Register said, “The Centre should come of its parochial and sectarian outlook and treat everyone equally.”
Kerala assembly is the first to pass a resolution against changes to the citizenship law and the exercise to build a population register that will form the database to create a citizens’ register.
The ruling Left Democratic Front has a majority in the 139-member assembly. Plus, the move was also supported by the Congress-led United Democratic Front and lawmakers.
O Rajagopal, the lone Bharatiya Janata Party lawmaker in the state assembly, was the only one to oppose the resolution, insisting that it was unconstitutional to dismiss a law enacted by Parliament and against the country’s federal polity. Much of his speech was, however, lost in the din and disruptions.
“The new citizenship law is against the secular fabric of the country,” said Chief Minister Vijayan in the assembly as he stood up to propose a resolution that asks the BJP-led national coalition to withdraw the Citizenship (Amendment) Act passed by Parliament during the Winter Session.
The ruling Left Democratic Front, which had called a special assembly session to debate the proposal, expects the resolution against a law enacted by Parliament to be passed when it is put to a vote.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the new law, combined with the National Register of Citizens, was designed to turn members of the minority community second class citizens. This cannot be allowed, he said, appealing to members to support the resolution irrespective of their political affiliations.