THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) passed by Parliament in 'unusual haste' was an 'attack' on the secular and democratic character of the country, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Tuesday.
The Constitution of India guarantees the right to citizenship for all Indians, irrespective of their religion, caste, language, culture, gender or profession and this very right is being made void by the CAB, Vijayan said in a statement here.
The move to decide citizenship on the basis of religion amounts to rejection of the Constitution, he said. This was an excercise to divide people on communal lines, he added.
"The bill was passed by the Lok Sabha with unusual haste and tenacity," he said.
"Muslims, who have immigrated from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan are being excluded. The discrimination on the basis of religion and preferential granting of rights is a denial of natural justice," Vijayan said.
The bill mentions that people belonging to six religious groups from three neighbouring countries can be granted citizenship.
These two clauses must be withdrawn, the chief minister said.
It is not unknown to the Sangh Parivar that India houses refugees from Sri Lanka in addition to the three aforementioned countries, he said.
"The CAB serves the communal policies of the Sangh Parivar and their devious plans to establish a non-secular state. The articles of the Constitution that relate to citizenship and fundamental rights are being violated here. India belongs to Indians of all kinds. Efforts to undermine this fact will only take our country backward," he said.
"It will destroy our hard-fought freedom and we must not let that happen", he said.