CHENNAI: The AIADMK government on Wednesday made it clear that it would not adopt a resolution against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) as such a step would be tantamount to cheating the public.
“The Leader of Opposition MK Stalin demands adopting a resolution against CAA. But he knows well that a resolution adopted by the State Assembly will not be binding on a legislation enacted by Parliament. So, adopting such a resolution will be akin to cheating the people,” Revenue Minister RB Udhayakumar said responding to the issue raised by Stalin during the zero hour.
Reiterating that the minorities need not have any fears over the NPR, the Minister said, “All cases relating to CAA will be dealt with only by the Supreme Court. Hence, the House should ponder over how adopting a resolution against the CAA, an issue contested before the apex court, will safeguard the interests of the people here,” he added.
Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam said, “AIADMK has been safeguarding the interests of all sections of the people for over four decades. So, the AIADMK government will check any trouble for
minorities including Muslims and Christians.”
The Revenue Minister also informed the House that the central government was yet to respond to the state government’s letter seeking clarifications regarding certain questions in NPR 2020. Udhayakumar
also clarified that the only difference between the format for carrying out NPR 2010 and NPR 2020 was the additional three questions relating to the details about the native place and date of birth of parents and spouse, mother tongue, Aadhaar card and driving license number added in the format for NPR 2020.
“The Opposition demands that these questions should be dropped. In the same vein, the state government has also urged the Centre to avoid these questions during NPR. But we did not ask the Centre to give up NPR itself since it was carried out already during the UPA government in 2010. The state government has, so far, has not issued any notification for NPR 2020,” Udhayakumar added.
Referring to the walkout staged by the DMK and its allies over the issue, the Minister said, "Already, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami has categorically said that the AIADMK government will
continue to be the protecting shield for minorities. But the opposition parties are staging a walkout from the Assembly over a non-issue."
Raising the issue, Stalin said BJP’s allies like the United Janta Dal, YSR Congress Party and Telangana Rashtra Samithi which supported the CAA in Parliament have now changed their stance after knowing the pulse of the people on this issue. “As such, the Tamil Nadu government should adopt a resolution in the State Assembly that the NPR which would pave way for the NRC in future will not be carried out in the state,” he added.
Stalin also said NPR 2010 was a usual census exercise and hence the DMK did not oppose it. “It is crystal clear that NPR 2020 is being carried out only for facilitating NRC. NPR would divide people on the
basis of religion and this would affect the plurality of the country. Hence the state government should adopt a resolution saying NPR in the present format will not be carried out in Tamil Nadu,” he added.
Since the Revenue Minister has indicated that no resolution would be adopted against the CAA, Stalin led his party colleagues in a walkout. MLAs belonging to the Congress and IUML and Thameemun Ansari, MLA and ally of the AIADMK, followed suit.