KOLKATA: Alleging that the decisions of the BJP-led government at the Centre have largely been discriminatory, TMC MP Derek O' Brien on Friday said the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), much like demonetisation, would hurt the poor most.
O'Brien, while participating in a discussion on the CAA at a premier law school in the city, said the country was facing a "serious crisis" due to the Centre's decision to implement the new citizenship law.
"Demonetisation (in 2016) had hit the poor hard. The impact remains the same (with regard to CAA, NRC). This time, too, the Centre's decision will affect housewives, students, bankers, farmers -- in short everybody.
"It will hit the poorest of the poor the hardest," the senior TMC leader claimed.
He urged students to read the full report of the Joint Select Committee of Parliament on the legislation.
The Anglo-Indian MP in the Rajya Sabha, who had last July compared the government's move to pass bills in quick succession with little debate to "pizza delivery", recited the Preamble of the Constitution at the closing ceremony of a mock UN session.
He requested the students to repeat after him.
"I have been in public life for 16 years. Never have I seen a crisis like the one that has befallen us in the past one year," O'brien said.
He commended West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for taking the lead in protests against the amended citizenship law and a pan-India NRC.
Hitting out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his absence from Parliament during the debate on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, the TMC lawmaker said, "He is not the prime minister of the BJP; he is my PM, your PM."
According to sources, a group of students, who had earlier requested Governor Jagdeep Dhankar to attend the event, withdrew the invitation owing to his stance in favour of the CAA and National Register of Citizens (NRC).