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Bhopal, February 5, 2020
Madhya Pradesh on Wednesday became the fifth state after Punjab, Kerala, Rajasthan and West Bengal to officially reject the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA).
The state Cabinet passed a resolution against CAA, requesting the Union government to revoke the new citizenship law.
It said secularism is the fundamental principle of the Indian Constitution and the Preamble clearly mentions it. Article 14 of the Constitution guarantees equality before law and non-discrimination through law to all individuals of all classes and communities. The CAA violates these principles of the Constitution and should, therefore, be revoked, the Cabinet resolution said.
The resolution was passed at a time when the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is holding a convention in the city for all its affiliates and pracharaks in the Central Province to deal with the growing resistance against the CAA and the National Citizenship Register (NRC).
The opposition BJP in the state has staged several demonstrations in favour of CAA in the last few weeks.
Terming the CAA as violative of the basic character of the Constitution, the resolution referred to the widespread protests that have engulfed the nation over the enactment of the new citizenship law. Most of these protests have so far remained by and large peaceful.
State Law Minister P. C. Sharma told IANS after the Cabinet meeting that the proposal could be brought in the state Assembly, too. Sharma said that Congress has made its stand on CAA very clear.
"Also, we have urged the government to withdraw the provisions under which information which have never been sought for Census purposes are now being sought for National Population Register (NPR) 2020.
"The Union government should first withdraw these provisions and then move towards starting the Census process afresh," Sharma said.
Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel had said last month that the party would consider bringing a resolution against CAA in the states ruled by it.
"After Punjab, we are thinking about bringing a resolution against the Citizenship Amendment Act in states like Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. It would be a clear message to the Central government to reconsider the Act," Patel had said.
The Congress said the states have the right to disagree with the Centre and until the issue is resolved in the court, they cannot be "forced" to implement the "unconstitutional" law.
Some other senior party leaders, including Kapil Sibal, believe that there is no way a state can deny the implementation of CAA when it has already been passed by the Parliament.
Another senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor had said that the resolution against CAA can be a political gesture, as the states hardly have any role now.