The SAD has been an alliance partner of the saffron party at the Centre and as well as the state. The Congress-led Punjab government today passed a resolution in the assembly against the implementation of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, becoming the second state to do so after Kerala.
In an embarrassment for the Bharatiya Janata Party, its ally Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Friday supported an anti-CAA resolution moved by the Amarinder Singh-led Congress government in the Punjab Assembly. The SAD has been an alliance partner of the saffron party at the Centre and as well as the state. The Congress-led Punjab government today passed a resolution in the assembly against the implementation of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, becoming the second state to do so after Kerala. But what was surprising was the support of SAD, which is an ally of BJP that has brought the CAA and has defended it in the face of widespread protests.
After the passage of the resolution, senior SAD leader Bikram Majithia said, “If people have to stand in line and confirm where they were born, then we are against any legislation like this.” Even though SAD voted in favour of the CAA in Parliament, it has maintained that the government should have mentioned “minorities” instead of specific religions. Reiterating his earlier stand, SAD chief and former Punjab CM Sukhbir Singh Badal just days ago said: “I am not on a re-think. My party’s view is that CAA should mention ‘minorities’ instead of naming religious communities. Nobody in the country should feel that they have been omitted or left out.”
The resolution, which was moved by state minister Brahm Mohindra, demanded the scrapping of the amended citizenship law. While reading out the resolution, Mohindra said that the CAA enacted by Parliament had caused countrywide anguish and social unrest with widespread protests all over the country. “The state of Punjab also witnessed protests against this legislation, which were peaceful and involved all segments of our society,” he added.
Last month, the Kerala government passed an anti-CAA resolution in the state assembly. Presenting the resolution, Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan said that the law “contradicts the basic values and principles of the Constitution”. “The Centre should take steps to drop the CAA and uphold the secular outlook of the Constitution,” he said.