The Punjab Legislative Assembly on Friday passed a resolution, urging the Union government to repeal the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and terming the ideology behind the amended Act as 'inherently discriminatory'.
Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh later told journalists that the State government, like Kerala, would approach the Supreme Court on the CAA issue.
In the Assembly, the resolution was moved by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Brahm Mohindra during the second day of the special session of the House. It was supported by the Congress, the Aam Aadmi Party and Lok Insaf Party (LIP) MLAs Balwinder Singh Bains and Simarjit Singh Bains .
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and BJP members opposed the resolution. The SAD, however, maintained that Muslims should be included in the CAA for granting citizenship.
During the discussion in the House, the Chief Minister termed the controversial legislation as inherently discriminatory and a negation of the very secular fabric on which the Constitution of India is based. He compared the CAA with ethnic and religious cleansing of Hitlers Germany. Clearly, no lessons had been learnt from history, he said.
Capt. Amarinder said, What happened in Germany under Hitler in 1930 is happening in India now. Germans did not speak then and they regretted it, but we have to speak now so that we dont regret later, he asserted. He urged the Opposition, particularly the Akalis, to read Adolf Hitlers Mein Kampf to understand the dangers of the CAA.
The resolution urged the Centre to put on hold the National Population Register (NPR) work till forms-documents associated with it are amended suitably, in order to allay apprehensions that it is a prelude to a nation-wide National Register of Citizens (NRC) and designed to deprive a section of persons from citizenship of India and implement the CAA.
The resolution pointed to the omission of Muslims and such other communities as Jews from the ambit of citizenship under the CAA and asked for its repeal to avoid any discrimination on the basis of religion in granting citizenship and to ensure equality before law for all religious groups in India.
Finance Minister and senior Congress leader Manpreet Badal said granting Citizenship under the CAA should not be based on religion, which was against the basic feature of the Constitution. Why the CAA does not have provision to give citizenship to those from Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Burma [Myanmar]? ," he quipped.
SAD MLA Bikram Singh Majithia said the party was against any move to implement NRC.
Outside the House, Capt. Amarinder said the Centre would have to make the necessary amendments to the CAA if it had to be implemented in Punjab and the other States opposing it. Like Kerala, my government would also approach the Supreme Court on the issue, he said.
In response to a question, he made it clear that the census in Punjab would be conducted on the old parameters and the new factors added by the Centre for the purpose of the NPR would not be included.