JAIPUR: After Kerala and Punjab, Rajasthan is all set to become the third state to pass a resolution in the assembly against the CAA ( Citizen Amendment Act ). A special session of the assembly has been called on January 24 which will also mark the start of the Budget session. The Gehlot government is also likely to challenge the implementation of the Act in the Supreme court under Article 131 of the Constitution.
Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot has been strongly opposing the CAA and has announced that Rajasthan will not implement the act. He even led the biggest anti-CAA rally held in Jaipur on 22nd December called the 'Samvidhan Bachao rally'.
Demanding the repeal of CAA, Gehlot has claimed that it is against the constitution and an attempt to divide people in the name of religion. Members of different political parties including CPI, CPI(M), AAP, SP, RLD and JD(S), a large number of people from the minority communities and civil society, as well as intellectuals and youths, participated in this 'silent march' and attracted huge number of people.
One of the six MLAs who defected to ruling Congress from BSP last year, Wajib Ali had sent a letter to the CM asking him to bring a resolution against the CAA. “Protests against the CAA are being held across the country. The amended act is against the spirit of the Constitution and it is causing social unrest, “ he said.
While sources in the Congress are buzzing that opposing the CAA-NRC will be the top agenda of the party in the assembly, Mahesh Joshi, Congress MLA and chief whip in Rajasthan Assembly, is maintaining a diplomatic stance. “At the moment, I don’t have clear information whether a proposal will be brought in to oppose the CAA. But the assembly session will begin on January 24. Since this is the first session of the year, we will also have the Governor’s address. We have completed all preparations which will bring out the vision of the Government in detail”, he said.
But highly placed sources in the power corridors reveal that the state government has made all preparations to reject the CAA in the Rajasthan assembly. The session is likely to see a political storm as the BJP in the opposition will support the centre’s initiative. Rajasthan CM, Ashok Gehlot and state assembly speaker Dr. CP Joshi met UDH and Parliamentary Affairs minister Shanti Dhariwal on Saturday and source say that the three veterans discussed the Congress Government’s strategy over the issue. Gehlot also had a 45-minute meeting, with eh Governor of Rajasthan, Kalraj Mishra, reportedly about the upcoming session.
Amidst nationwide protests against the CAA and NRC, several State Governments have already refused to implement the same. On December 31, Kerala became the first state to pass a resolution seeking withdrawal of the CAA, which grants citizenship to minorities facing religious persecution in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, who came to India on or before December 31, 2014. On January 17, Punjab also passed a resolution against CAA and NRC and now Rajasthan will take the same route.
The opposition BJP has said the government's move to bring the resolution will be strongly opposed. Saffron party insists that refusing CAA-NRC is unethical and the whole session itself would be unconstitutional. Rajendra Rathore, Deputy Leader of the Opposition, asserts, “ the Government is trying to go against the constitution and BJP will oppose this move. According to the rules, a 21-day notice should be given before calling a session.”
The upcoming session in Rajasthan will also see an attempt to extend the reservation quota by another 10 years. Through an amendment Act in 2019, the Parliament has already passed this bill. The quotas for SC/ST reservations are scheduled to expire on January 25, 2020, but the Rajasthan Assembly is ready to ratify these quotas till January 25, 2030.