THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Kerala Assembly on Tuesday passed a resolution demanding scrapping of the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act, amid raging countrywide protests against the legislation.
The ruling CPI(M)-LDF and the Opposition Congress led UDF supported the resolution while BJP's lone MLA and former Union minister O Rajagopal's was the only dissenting voice in the one-day special session.
The resolution, moved by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, said granting citizenship based on religion amounts to religious discrimination. There should be united attempts by people from all religious denominations to protect secularism, which is one of the fundamental units of the Constitution, said the resolution.
"When citizenship is granted based on religion, it amounts to religious discrimination," said the resolution.
There are widespread concerns among different sections of society and protests have come up across the country after the Parliament issued its nod for the Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019. The Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 which mandates new regulations for issuing citizenship, is in violation of the fundamental principle of equality in Part III of the Indian Constitution. The chief minister, while moving the notice said that the country is witnessing huge protest against the amendment act based on religious discrimination. It has created a wrong image for the country at international level.
"The act is a challenge against the secular nature and diversity of the country and hence a challenge to the country's survival. This amendment will have serious repercussions, " he said.
"A country's character is defined by its citizenship policy. Hence anyone with knowledge on citizenship and constitution will oppose this act based on religious discrimination. It is wrong to say that everyone should obey the new act just because it was passed by both houses of the parliament. The parliament is devised on the basis if Constitution and hence we are bound to show loyalty towards Constitution, " the CPM leader added.
Pinarayi Vijayan said Kerala will not create any kind of detention centres.
At the beginning of the session, the resolution's lone dissenter O Rajagopal of BJP asked the Speaker to desist from taking up the resolution notice against an act passed by both houses of the parliament.
(With ENS inputs)