New Delhi: In a first, the Trinamool Congress will join opposition parties to move amendments against President Ram Nath Kovind’s speech where he listed the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act as an achievement of the Narendra Modi government.
As Parliament gathers today for the Motion of Thanks to the President’s speech, the Mamata Banerjee-led party will join a host of other opposition parties to oppose the Citizenship Amendment Act.
Set to be raised in both Houses of Parliament, the Congress, TMC, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagham (DMK) and the Left parties plan to formulate a joint strategy to oppose the contentious legislation.
Though senior opposition leaders have decided to hold protests in both Houses, they also plan to move notices in the week for suspension of the business hour and the zero hour to discuss the issue.
The BJP, meanwhile, seems to have made it clear that it is no mood to go back on the law. The party has chosen MP Parvesh Verma — who was removed from BJP’s star campaigners list for making communally divisive remarks — to move the Motion of Thanks.
Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi is likely to open the debate from the Opposition side, while Sougata Roy and Mahua Moitra will deliver remarks from the TMC. In case Gandhi doesn’t speak, party leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and Shashi Tharoor will present their remarks.
The TMC deciding to move amendments to the President’s Address assumes significance as the party has never availed this parliamentary tool since its inception in 1992.
It had cited respect to the office of the First Citizen as a reason, until now. It will now join the Congress, CPI (M), and Muslim League among others to move amendments opposing the CAA, National Population Register and the National Register of Citizens.
Besides, holding protests during session and leaders moving amendments against the CAA is also likely to slow down the passage of bills and effect productivity as the Centre aims to pass a series of legislations. In particular, Rajya Sabha will be a cause of worry as the Opposition has a majority there.
The TMC has moved at least six amendments in the Rajya Sabha over President Kovind’s speech. The proposed amendments are on the violence against anti-CAA protesters, economic slowdown, divisive statements by lawmakers, and detention of leaders in Jammu and Kashmir.
Union minister Bhupendra Yadav will move the motion of thanks in the Rajya Sabha.