The Gujarat Assembly on Friday passed a resolution congratulating Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union home minister Amit Shah for amending the Citizenship Act. The resolution, which was opposed by Congress MLAs, claimed that persecuted minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan were not offered Indian citizenship in the past because of “policy of appeasement”.
Last month the Legislative Assembly of Kerala, where a CPI(M)-led LDF government is in power, passed a resolution demanding scrapping of the controversial Act, becoming the first state in the country to do so. On Friday, during a heated discussion on the resolution in the Gujarat Assembly, Congress MLA Imran Khedawala displayed a poster against CAA and the National Register of Citizens written in his own blood.
The House was also adjourned for fifteen minutes following a ruckus. The resolution, moved by Minister of State for Home Pradeepsinh Jadeja, said, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah have shown far-sightedness by taking a bold and historic decision to amend the Citizenship Act by which Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Christians and Parsis of three neighbouring countries will be able to get Indian citizenship.
“Policy of appeasement of earlier governments had kept such people devoid of citizenship and other rights,” it added. The “nationalist government of the BJP” brought in the new law to help these persecuted minorities, it said. Some “anti-nationals” and political parties opposing it were silent on the persecution of religious minorities in Pakistan, and spreading rumours that the CAA will take away the citizenship of the members of the minority community in India, the resolution said. While tabling the resolution, minister Jadeja said the CAA was only about granting citizenship to the religious minorities of three countries.
“I want to assure that no Indian will lose citizenship. This Act is not at all unconstitutional. It will alleviate the pain of persecuted minorities,” he said. “Ten people sitting on a protest in Delhi is not a protest. People are being misled. Even the Congress has joined hands with the `Tukde Tukde Gang’.
The Congress was concerned about Rohingya Muslims. But why you never thought of wiping the tears of migrant Hindus all these years,” he asked. Leader of Opposition Paresh Dhanani linked the CAA with National Register of Citizens and National Population Register.
“CAA will destroy the secular spirit of our Constitution. CAA is linked with NRC and NPR. People are afraid that they may lose their citizenship,” said Dhanani. “For granting citizenship to a few foreigners, you want to strip crores of our own people of citizenship,” the Congress leader said. After the discussion continued for around two hours, the resolution was passed by a majority vote.
The CAA, which has led to widespread protest in the country, promises citizenship to persecuted non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.