JAIPUR: While Rajasthan CM has been vehemently stating that CAA will not be applicable in the state, Assembly Speaker, Dr. CP Joshi, has now said that the Centre's Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) will have to be implemented by the state government. He added that state government can legislate only on the subjects of the concurrent list. C.P. Joshi is a senior Congress leader and his comments have become a topic of discussion in political circles.
"There is a discussion in the country on CAA. This is a law and state government is not allowed to make changes to it. For example, the Centre enacted a law under the Motor Vehicles Act where states had a say whether they wanted to implement it or not. But law of citizenship is a subject under the constitution of India which cannot be tampered with", Dr. Joshi said addressing an awards ceremony in a Girls College in Jaipur.
He further added, "We want to change the policies of the country, but we do not want to educate the voters. Now educated youth will educate voters. If we can't give this right, then in the coming days, a very big question mark will be raised in front of our parliamentary form of democracy."
After the peace march of Congress along with other parties and various communities against the CAA on December 21 in Jaipur, CM Gehlot had announced that the CAA and NRC will not be implemented in the state. "The way the protests are taking place across the country and the governments of fellow parties of the NDA themselves are not implementing it, in this way the Center should understand the public sentiments and withdraw this law and declare not to implement the NRC', the CM had said then.
While Gehlot's criticism of the CAA is strong, Constitution experts say that India is a union of states. They add that the constitution divides the powers of the Union Government and the State Government. For this, Union List, State List and Concurrent List have been mentioned. Through these lists, an attempt has been made to prevent any deadlock between the Union and the State Government.
The basic motive of making these lists is that powers of lawmaking should not be concentrated and their boundaries should be fixed. Citizenship is mentioned at number 17 in the Union list. Only Parliament has the right to make laws on this. Which puts the statement of the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, Dr. Joshi, in accordance with the Constitution.