Congress manifesto axed CAA in last hour

Though ‘repealing and amending of CAA’ figured in the original draft of the manifesto, the top leadership of the party decided to drop it just before releasing the document, said sources.
Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge.
Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge. Photo| Shekhar Yadav, EPS

NEW DELHI : After mounting fierce attacks against the Modi government on implementing the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), the Congress appears to have developed cold feet on the law in its recent election manifesto.

Though ‘repealing and amending of CAA’ figured in the original draft of the manifesto, the top leadership of the party decided to drop it just before releasing the document, said sources. Instead, the party made an omnibus promise in the manifesto that it would repeal all anti-people laws passed by the NDA if the INDIA bloc came to power.

“The original draft of the manifesto said that the draconian CAA would be repealed and amended. However, at the last minute, they decided not to list any laws and dropped the mention of CAA,” said a leader privy to the developments.

However, when asked about nixing the CAA, a member of the manifesto committee told this paper that under a section called ‘reversing the damage’, the party had promised to repeal various anti-people laws passed by the BJP/NDA without proper parliamentary scrutiny and debate.

Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge.
Free healthcare, equal pay for women, minimum daily wage: Key promises from Congress manifesto

However, in this section, the party talked about reviewing and amending laws relating to workers, farmers, criminal justice, environment & forests, and digital data protection. The section has no mention of repealing CAA.

After the Union government notified the CAA on January 10, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor said that the opposition would challenge the law in the Supreme Court, and dubbed it as unconstitutional. Tharoor also asserted that in the Congress manifesto, they will promise the repeal of the CAA, if the INDIA alliance comes to power. The silence of the party on the CAA in its manifesto has become a bone of contention between the Congress and the ruling CPI(M) in Kerala.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has been consistently attacking the Congress that the silence on the issue reflects its fear of speaking about the contentious Act. Vijayan accused that Congress consciously skipped the CAA.

Citizenship rights

Under the CAA, citizenship will be given to persecuted non-Muslim minorities — Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, and Christian — who migrated to India from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh till Dec 31, 2014

Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge.
2024 LS polls: PM Modi claims Congress manifesto 'bears imprint of Muslim League'

Related Stories

No stories found.

X
The New Indian Express
www.newindianexpress.com