The Tamil Nadu Assembly on Wednesday adopted a resolution urging the Union government to repeal the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019.
While the BJP walked out, its ally, the PMK, welcomed the resolution, moved by Chief Minister M.K. Stalin.
AIADMK members were not present when the resolution was adopted as they had walked out earlier over another issue.
The resolution said: “This august House considers that the Citizenship (Amendment) Act is not in tune with the secular principles laid down in our Constitution, and also not conducive to the communal harmony that prevails in India.”
According to the established democratic principles, a country should be governed on the basis of the aspirations and concerns of all sections. “But it is clear the Act was passed in such a way that it does not accord a warm support to the refugees, considering their plight, but discriminates against them on the basis of their religion and country of origin,” the resolution said.
Therefore, to protect India’s unity and communal harmony and uphold the secular principles enshrined in the Constitution, “this august House resolves to urge the Union government to repeal the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019”, it said. After a voice vote, Speaker M. Appavu said the resolution was being adopted “unanimously”.
Before staging the walk-out prior to the adoption of the resolution, BJP floor leader Nainar Nagenthran (Tirunelveli) contended that the CAA was not against the Muslims living in India. While India was protecting the rights of minorities living in the country in line with the Liaquat-Nehru Pact of 1950, the status of minorities in Pakistan was not the same. While 20% of the population in Pakistan was Hindu during Partition, it stood at a mere 3% now.
The Chair intervened and pointed out that even people from the same community could not co-exist in Afghanistan. The BJP has four MLAs in the 234-member House.
PMK floor leader G.K. Mani (Pennagaram) urged that the Act favour the Sri Lankan Tamil refugees living in India too.
Since Leader of the Opposition and AIADMK floor leader Edappadi K. Palaniswami had earlier led his party members out over another issue, AIADMK MLAs were not present when the resolution was moved and adopted.
Leader of the House Duraimurugan said the CAA went against the principles enshrined in the Constitution. Allowing only one section of people based on religion into the country and denying entry to another group was nothing but “religious bigotry”.
While moving the resolution, Mr. Stalin said, “We feel that the Union government must stop the preparation of the National Population Register and the Register of Citizens.”
The resolution against CAA would create awareness and gain support at the national level, TNCC president K.S. Alagiri said. He praised Chief Minister M.K. Stalin for bringing in the resolution.
VCK president Thol. Thirumavalavan also supported the State government’s move.