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All Cong states may pass resolutions against CAA MP, Chhattisgarh, Raj Could Follow Punjab’s Lead

January 20, 2020 06:32 AM


All Cong states may pass resolutions against CAA
MP, Chhattisgarh, Raj Could Follow Punjab’s Lead

New Delhi:

Signalling a step up in the political battle over the Citizenship Amendment Act, and in a bid to erase confusion over comments by senior functionaries that not implementing the law might be “unconstitutional”, Congress on Sunday said all states where it is in office should follow the example of the party government in Punjab in passing anti-CAA resolution in their respective assemblies.

The message was clearly relayed by senior Congress functionary Ahmed Patel, who said, “After Punjab, we are thinking about bringing a resolution against the CAA in states like Rajasthan, MP and Chhattisgarh. It would be a clear message to the central government to reconsider the Act.”

The statement came in the backdrop of comments by senior functionaries Kapil Sibal and Jairam Ramesh, who expressed doubts over the ability of states not to implement the CAA.

Sibal had said on Saturday, “If the CAA is passed, no state can say ‘I will not implement it’.

Will be problematic to oppose CAA if it gets SC nod: Sibal

A day earlier, Kapil Sibal had said, “If the CAA is passed, no state can say ‘I will not implement it’. It is not possible and is unconstitutional. You can oppose it, you can pass a resolution in the assembly and ask the central government to withdraw it. But constitutionally, saying that I won’t implement it is going to be problematic and going to create more difficulties.”

On Sunday, as the party clarified matters, Sibal said he believed CAA was “unconstitutional” and every state assembly had the constitutional right to pass a resolution and seek its withdrawal. But he did add, “When and if the law is declared to be constitutional by the Supreme Court, then it will be problematic to oppose it... The fight must go on.”

In an interaction with a daily, Jairam wondered if the CAA issue might play to BJP’s benefit and said, “I think one should recognise that there is a space for spontaneous protests by citizens, students and political parties but on an issue like CAA, there is a dangerous potential for it to be exploited by Modi and Amit Shah — to convert a genuine issue into an issue of communal polarisation.”

He also pointed out that he was not sure state governments saying they would not implement CAA would stand judicial scrutiny. “Whether it will stand the test of judicial scrutiny, I am not 100% sure,” he added. Though Congress strongly emphasised its opposition to the CAA and called for resolutions, it stopped short of directing its governments to challenge the Act in the Supreme Court , possibly because of uncertainty of the outcome. The party has taken a strong stand against the CAA and the National Population Register as well, linking NPR with the National Register of Citizens. While the strategy plays to wooing Muslims and tapping a wider “liberal” sentiment, there is concern over whether it misses a less vocal Hindu consolidation or sympathy for CAA’s political goals. On Sunday, Congress fielded another legal eagle Abhishek Singhvi, who said states challenging the CAA could not be expected to implement a law they have challenged, until the matter was settled by the court

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