Tamil Nadu

AIADMK, DMK spar over CAA in House

DMK president M. K. Stalin along with MLAs walking out of the Assembly on Tuesday.

DMK president M. K. Stalin along with MLAs walking out of the Assembly on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: The Hindu

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Speaker says Stalin’s request to take up his resolution for its withdrawal under consideration

The ruling AIADMK and the principal opposition DMK were at loggerheads in the Assembly on Tuesday over the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), questioning each other’s claim over protecting the interests of Muslims and Sri Lankan Tamils.

DMK president and Leader of the Opposition M.K. Stalin led his MLAs in a walkout from the House after his request to take up discussion on a resolution to urge the Centre to withdraw the CAA was not accepted by the Speaker. Congress and Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) legislators followed suit.

While the DMK attempted to debate specific aspects of the CAA with the ruling party, the AIADMK criticised the DMK for “misleading” Muslims into staging protests over the Act and went on to claim that the principal opposition party was shedding “crocodile tears” for the minorities.

Though he was present in the House all through the debate, Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami chose not to speak on the issue, but was seen helping Revenue Minister R.B. Udhayakumar, who was replying to concerns raised by the DMK, with some points.

Speaker P. Dhanapal maintained that Mr. Stalin’s request to take up his resolution was still under his consideration and he would come up with an “appropriate action at an appropriate time.” He declined to commit to take up the issue before the end of the ongoing session, for which a request was made by DMK Deputy floor leader Duraimurugan.

Whenever the issue of CAA came up in the House on Tuesday, Mr. Udhayakumar maintained that the Act was neither against any citizen of the country nor against minorities, as was projected by the Opposition parties.

He charged the DMK of having supported the National Population Register (NPR) during the United Progressive Alliance (NPR) regime when senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram was the Home Minister only to oppose it presently. But, Mr. Stalin said the DMK did not vote on the issue then, unlike the AIADMK, which did recently.

‘Baseless fears’

Mr. Udhayakumar also said no official word has come yet on the NPR and whether the National Register of Citizens (NRC) would be implemented. Presently, the NRC was implemented only in Assam on the directions of the Supreme Court. He claimed that the apprehensions of the Opposition parties were baseless.

The AIADMK government also did not accede to the demand of the DMK to pass a resolution against the CAA like Kerala.

Mr. Stalin pointed out many Chief Ministers had opposed the CAA and some like Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister decided not to implement it, despite having supported it in Parliament.

Mr. Udhayakumar said the DMK’s apprehensions were based on some “dreams” and said the government was willing to engage in a long debate over the issue. But, Mr. Stalin pointed out that his party was raising concerns on the CAA, but Mr. Udhayakuar was offering replies on the NPR and the NRC.

Municipal Administration Minister S.P. Velumani said the Chief Minister had personally met Home Minister Amit Shah in Delhi to say that the minorities in Tamil Nadu should not be affected by the Act.

Mr. Duraimurugan questioned as to why the BJP government was discriminating against Muslims and Sri Lankan Tamil refugees on the basis of religion.

Though Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) legislator K.A.M. Muhammed Abubacker (Kadayanallur) sought a chance to speak during the debate, the Speaker said he would be given an opportunity later during the day.

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2020 10:46:51 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/aiadmk-dmk-spar-over-caa-in-house/article30507665.ece

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