Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, while maintaining his stance on the issue, on Thursday said that the Citizenship Amendment Act will not be implemented in the state.
Addressing the public after a virtual inauguration ceremony, the CM said, “CAA will not be implemented in Kerala.”
“This is the left government’s stand which we have made clear from the beginning,” he added.
Mr Vijayan further said that in our country, citizenship was never decided based on religion. “Belonging to one religion is not a criterion for citizenship here; people have a right to believe in any religion or live without believing in any religion,” he said.
Slamming the BJP-led central government for CAA, the CM said, “Central government has brought in the Citizenship Amendment Act which can distinguish people on the basis of a particular religion and affect even their citizenship.”
Strong country-wide protests were also witnessed against the same.
“The left front has always taken a clear and strong stand in such issues. We clearly said that we are not ready to implement the citizenship act. Many made fun of us and asked how can a state not implement a rule passed by the centre but the stand we took then, are taking now and will take tomorrow is that the Citizenship Amendment Act will not be implemented here,” the CM said.
The CAA allows persecuted minorities belonging to the Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist, Parsi, and Christian communities from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan to avail of Indian citizenship.
According to the provisions of the act, people belonging to these communities who arrived in India till December 31, 2014, due to religious persecution in these three countries will not be treated as illegal migrants but will be provided with Indian citizenship.
If a person belongs to the aforementioned faiths, from these three countries, does not have proof of birth of parents, they can apply for Indian citizenship after six years of residence in India.
President of India Ram Nath Kovind gave his assent to the legislation on December 12, 2019.
The Opposition parties and several groups have protested against the implementation of CAA. CAA’s detractors believe that the law coupled with the National Register of Citizens (NRC) exercise is intended to target the minorities in India.
This story first appeared on ndtv.com