Thiruvanathapuram: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijyan on Thursday informed that the state will not implement the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill passed by the Parliament as its unconstitutional.
"The state government will oppose this law. We will inform the centre about our position in the matter," the chief minister said in a press conference here.
“Discrimination on the basis of religion will not be tolerated in Kerala. Individuals belonging to every religion has the right to be a citizen of the country.”
"Division of the country on the basis of religion is an RSS dream and the CAB was part of its agenda to achieve this vision," he said.
The Kerala CM also said that the CAB was a master plan to compromise the basic values of the constitution such as equality and secularism.
"Many Muslims decided to live in India in the post-partition period due to its secular ideals. But we are now akin to Pakistan, which is a majoratarian state."
“We are now heading in the path of communal states, fighting in the name of religion. The peaceful coexistence of religious commmunities in India has always been a fact we cherished as Indians. The CAB has made us hang our heads in shame in front of world nations,” Pinarayi added.
The bill mentions that people belonging to six religious groups from three neighbouring countries can be granted citizenship. These two clauses must be withdrawn, the Kerala CM had said in an earlier statement release prior to the passage of the bill in the Upper House.
"Muslims, who have immigrated from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan are being excluded. The discrimination on the basis of religion and preferential granting of rights is a denial of natural justice."
It is not unknown to the Sangh Parivar that India houses refugees from Sri Lanka in addition to the three aforementioned countries, he added.
"The CAB serves the communal policies of the sangh parivar and their devious plans to establish a non-secular state. The articles of the Constitution that relate to citizenship and fundamental rights are being violate here. India belongs to Indians of all kinds. Efforts to undermine this fact will only take our country backward," he said.
"It will destroy our hard-fought freedom and we must not let that happen", he said.
The Rajya Sabha on Wednesday had passed the contentious bill, completing the legislative process for giving Indian citizenship to non-Muslim migrants from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, with Home Minister Amit Shah asserting that Indian Muslims have nothing to fear as they will not be affected by the law.
As many as 125 MPs voted in favour of the Bill in the Upper House and 99 against it, according to Rajya Sabha sources.
The Opposition termed the bill, which was passed by Lok Sabha on Monday, as "unconstitutional", "divisive" and "an assault on the democratic and secular fabric of the nation".
The citizenship law goes hand in hand with another contentious programme, the National Register for Citizens in Assam. All 3.3 crore residents of the state had to prove, with documentary evidence, that they or their ancestors were Indian citizens. About 20 lakh people were left out of the state's citizenship rolls after that exercise.