The 140-member House has a current effective strength of 139 after the recent demise of NCP MLA Thomas Chandy.
Thiruvananthapuram: The CPI(M)-led Left Demcoratic Front-ruled Kerala became the first state in the country to pass an Assembly resolution demanding the scrapping of the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). The resolution was passed in the Assembly Tuesday.
The resolution was unanimously passed by members of the ruling LDF and the Congress-led UDF. Lone BJP MLA O. Rajagopal opposed the resolution, and called it “anti-Constitution”. The 140-member House has a current effective strength of 139 after the recent demise of NCP MLA Thomas Chandy.
The Centre rejected the Assembly resolution, saying that only Parliament was vested with the power to frame, pass laws relating to citizenship. No Assembly can surpass a law passed by Parliament, Union law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
“I urge the chief minister again to kindly get better legal advice. We will talk to the states if required,” he said at a press conference here to explain the Centre’s perspective on the CAA.
The resolution passed by the Kerala Assembly gains significance in the backdrop of the countrywide protests being held against the CAA.
Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan moved the resolution at a special session of the Assembly, while Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala seconded it. The chief minister accused the Centre of attempting to turn India into a theocratic state. He said the CAA was part of that gameplan. “The CAA would result in religion-based discrimination in granting citizenship. This was blatantly against the secular norms which are laid down in the Constitution,” he said. “I urge the Centre to take immediate steps to scrap the CAA and uphold secular values enshrined in the constitution,” he said.
The chief minister reiterated Kerala would not set up any detention centres to house illegal immigrants. He said just as the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha passed the CAA doesn’t mean it has to be implemented. The law is against the basic tenets of the Constitution, hence the state cannot implement it, he said.
The ruling LDF and Opposition UDF have conducted joint campaigns and agitations against the CAA and NRC in Kerala. The decision to move a resolution in the Assembly was taken at an all-party meet convened by chief minister here on Sunday.
Kerala has already decided to put on hold all activities over the NPR in view of the serious fears raised by some sections of society and the questions now being raised about the NRC.
CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury Tuesday congratulated the Kerala Assembly for passing the resolution. “Kerala shows the way. Kudos to the people of Kerala and their representatives in the state Assembly. We will not let the BJP’s nefarious designs succeed,” he tweeted.