Tamil Nadu

DMK president MK Stalin: We have not come together to fight BJP but save India

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) president and opposition leader M K Stalin walks-out, demanding resolution against CAA during the ongoing Tamil Nadu Assembly Session, in Chennai, on February 17, 2020.

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) president and opposition leader M K Stalin walks-out, demanding resolution against CAA during the ongoing Tamil Nadu Assembly Session, in Chennai, on February 17, 2020.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Pass resolution against CAA, NRC, NPR, he says at ‘Kudiyurimai Paadhukappu Maanadu’ in Chennai

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) president M.K. Stalin on Wednesday refuted the Centre’s accusation that the Opposition parties were wilfully instigating protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the National Population Register (NPR) and urged the Tamil Nadu government to pass a resolution against these three.

Mr. Stalin was speaking at the ‘Kudiyurimai Paadhukappu Maanadu’ organised by the Tamilaga Makkal Otrumai Medai at the YMCA at Royapettah in Chennai.

Stating that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had not fulfilled a number of promises that it made: 2 crore jobs every year, retrieving black money etc, Mr. Stalin said, “We have not come together to fight the BJP government, but to save India, India’s unity and its people. You [BJP] said you will double agricultural income, generate 2 crore jobs every year...you promised that the black money will be brought back, did you do it? Did you inter-link Indian rivers as promised? In Madurai, you said you will build AIIMS. There is not even a board now at the site. So, there are many issues for us to oppose the BJP politically. We don’t need the CAA to do politics. This is an issue that concerns the people and the country.”

He charged that right wing forces were dividing people on the basis of religion. “We oppose Hindutva, not people who believe in Hinduism,” he said.

He said that there would be many issues due to the NPR as one would become a ‘doubtful citizen’ if one could not present documents in proof.

“I raised the issue in State Assembly. TN CM Edappadi K. Palaniswami said that nobody will face problems due to this in Tamil Nadu. But, why did the CM and Deputy CM write a letter to the Centre on February 22 asking for removal of information such as mother tongue, voters ID, birth place of parents, driving licence and cell phone numbers in the 2020 Census. With this, has he not accepted that there are problems with it? The State government must announce that they will not implement the NPR. The State government must pass a resolution in State Assembly stating that the CAA must be repealed,” he said.

Mr. Stalin criticised the Central government for allowing the protests to turn violent in New Delhi.

‘Attack on Constitution’

N. Ram, Chairman, THG Publishing Pvt. Ltd., noted that the country had not seen such an “upsurge in several decades” as it had against the CAA, the NPR and the NRC and said that this was not just a Hindu-Muslim issue but an attack on the Indian Constitution.

“It has gone to the Supreme Court and what I expect from the court is that it will strike down the CAA. It is violative of Article 14 of the Indian Constitution,” Mr. Ram said.

He added: “Even if the Supreme Court fails to strike down the CAA as unconstitutional, we must still oppose it. It goes against the basic structure of the Constitution. It polarises society. It divides society and for the first time, it makes religion the basis of citizenship. It is a shame on the Republic of India.”

He said that the Tamil Nadu government should not go ahead with the NPR. “NPR is the first step...not just a first step...but a basis for the NRC.” He also appealed to actor Rajinikanth to reconsider his support for the CAA, the NPR and the NRC.

Pudhucherry Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy said: “When I spoke in the Assembly after passing the resolution in the House, I said that India is a democratic country of various cultures. And, we will not allow people to be divided on the basis of religion. If we have to spill blood, we will do it for inter-faith harmony and we don’t care about losing power.”

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan could not make it to the event due to health reasons. Reading out the message from Mr. Vijayan, K. Balakrishnan, State Secretary, CPM, said, “India’s values of secularism and tolerance face a threat today. It is important to safeguard religious tolerance and unity to face these threats.”

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Printable version | Apr 10, 2020 3:55:30 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/dmk-president-mk-stalin-we-have-not-come-together-to-fight-bjp-but-save-india/article30928662.ece

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