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CWC demands withdrawal of CAA, stopping of NPR process

Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi flanked by her party leaders during the CWC meeting in New Delhi on January 11, 2020.

Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi flanked by her party leaders during the CWC meeting in New Delhi on January 11, 2020.   | Photo Credit: PTI

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The CWC expresses its solidarity with the youth and the students in their fight for defending the Constitution.

Accusing the union government of unleashing its ‘brute majority to impose its divisive and discriminatory’ agenda on the nation, the Congress Working Committee (CWC) on Saturday demanded the withdrawal of the new citizenship law and to stop the process of updating the National Population Register (NPR).

The CWC, the party’s highest decision-making body, noted that India is facing an unprecedented crisis in its history since Independence and cautioned the government its ‘divisive agenda’ will pose a serious challenge to internal security and make the country vulnerable to hostile external forces.

It also accused the Modi government of unleashing “the entire might of the brute State power to suppress, subjugate and stifle the voice of the youth and students across the country”.

The Congress body also adopted a special resolution against the ‘suppression of the voice of the youth and students of India’ who have been protesting over the anti-CAA and the proposed nation-wide National Register of Citizens (NRC).

The tone for the CWC’s first meeting in 2020 was set by the Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who in her opening remarks, demanded termed the CAA as ‘a discriminatory and divisive law,’ expressed solidarity with the youth and promised to protection the Constitution.

Former party chief Rahul Gandhi, however, did not attend Saturday’s meeting as he was out of Delhi and was expected to reach on Sunday.

“The sinister purpose of the law is clear to every patriotic, tolerant and secular Indian: it is to divide the Indian people on religious lines,”she said and added,“Thousands of young men and women, especially students, have realized the grave harm the CAA implementation will cause. They have taken to the streets braving the cold as well as the police brutalities. I salute their courage, their abiding faith in the values of the Constitution of India, and their determination to defend and protect those values”.

The Congress chief noted that Uttar Pradesh and Delhi had become ‘police States’ and the situation was evidently alarming with the escalation of violence across campuses.

“We have no faith that either the UP State government or the LG of Delhi will bring the culprits to justice. We therefore demand that a comprehensive high-powered Commission should be constituted to enquire into the incidents connected with the anti-CAA protests and justice to the affected persons,”the Congress chief asserted.

Senior party leaders Anand Sharma, K C Venugopal and Randeep Surjewala later briefed the media about the CWC deliberations.

“CWC cautions the Government that, its pursuit of divisive agenda with the sole objective of polarisation, may give short term political dividends but will create deep fissures in the society undermining national unity and social stability. That presents a serious challenge to internal security and makes India vulnerable to hostile external forces. The CWC demands that Citizenship Amendment Act should be withdrawn and the process of NPR be stopped forthwith,”Mr Sharma read out from the CWC statement.

Sources said like the Kerala Assembly that passed a resolution against implementing CAA, Congress ruled States too could follow a similar strategy.

“India is facing a crisis unprecedented in its history since independence. The nation needs a healing process to restore people’s trust and confidence. It is unfortunate, that the BJP Government does not believe in building a consensus to resolve national issues, but follows a policy of imposition and confrontation,”the CWC noted.

“Instead of listening to the students, the only response of BJP Government has been to unleash police lathi charge, tear gas shells, forcible arrests, lodging of FIRs and even planned attacks on the protesting students and the youth...Modi Government is systematically attacking the culture of creative thinking and learning, of questioning the hierarchy and of inculcating the culture of assimilation and cohabitation,”Mr Venugopal read out from the special CWC resolution.

On economy, the CWC called upon the Government to reveal its road map for reviving the economy, investors’ confidence and job creation.

Noting that the government had taken diplomats on a guided tour of Jammu and Kashmir while the ‘shutdown’ had entered its sixth month, Congress asked civil liberties to be immediately restored.

The party also asked the government to prepare a contingency plan to ensure energy security and the safety of the Indian diaspora in the Gulf because of the escalation of tension between Iran and the United States.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2020 10:01:42 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/congress-working-committee-meeting-passes-resolution-on-january-11-2020/article30544508.ece

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