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‘What the World Thinks About India Matters’: In Scathing Editorial, Pinarayi Vijayan Defends Moving SC Against CAA

In a stinging editorial, Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the Citizenship Amendment Act will not just affect India’s society but also hamper the nation’s economic growth.

News18.com

Updated:January 18, 2020, 11:31 AM IST
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‘What the World Thinks About India Matters’: In Scathing Editorial, Pinarayi Vijayan Defends Moving SC Against CAA
File photo of Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan.

The Citizenship Amendment Act will not just affect the Indian society but also hamper the country’s economic development, Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said in a stinging editorial in defence of his government’s petition against the contentious law.

“What the world thinks about us matters, as more than half of India’s GDP is in the external sector. The CAA will not just affect our society, but will also hamper our economic development,” Vijayan said in a column for the Indian Express.

In the write-up, the CM also shot down allegations that the petition against the amended citizenship law is against the Constitution.

“State ministers take the oath as prescribed in the Third Schedule of the Indian Constitution. In it we affirm our allegiance to the Constitution of India and pledge to do right to all people in accordance to it... Even the act of challenging the CAA in the Supreme Court is based on the Indian Constitution. The suit is instituted under Article 131 of the Constitution, which essentially states that the Supreme Court has original jurisdiction in any dispute between the Government of India and a state,” Vijayan wrote.

Contending that the CAA has led to anxiety across the country, Vijayan said the new law, criticised as anti-Muslim, is just the first step and would be followed by the National Register of Citizens.

“Kerala has taken a firm stand against the NRC as well. We have also categorically stated that no detention centre will be built in the state to cater to the CAA-NRC exercise. We have stayed all activities within the state related to the NPR as well, and ensuring that in Kerala, no one will have to live in fear,” he said.

Kerala’s plea in the Supreme Court, the first against the controversial law by any state government, has sought that the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 be declared violative of Articles 14 (Equality before law), 21 (Right to life and personal liberty) and 25 (Freedom of conscience and free profession, practice, and propagation of religion). It said the CAA is also violative of the basic principle of secularism enshrined in the Constitution.

In a tit-for-tat plea, Kerala BJP leader and former Mizoram governor Kummanam Rajasekharan has moved the Supreme Court seeking the dismissal of the Kerala government’s petition. The plea filed by Rajasekharan and Kerala-based activist Ajikumar alleges that the state government’s application wrongly tries to convey that all people of Kerala are against the new citizenship law, whereas the situation is "totally different".

The CAA provides for granting citizenship for Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians, who had migrated to India before December 31, 2014 from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. Critics point out that when seen in conjuction with the NRC, the law is a potential threat to the citizenship of Indian Muslims.

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