Gujarat's BJP govt to bring pro-CAA resolution in assembly

Ahmedabad, Jan 9 (PTI) The BJP government in Gujarat will bring a resolution in the assembly during its day-long session on Friday welcoming and supporting the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, whose passage in Parliament last month triggered widespread protests across the country.

The special house session has been convened to approve a constitutional amendment bill recently passed by Parliament to give a 10-year extension to reservation for Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST) in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies.

The government-sponsored resolution on CAA, which is to be discussed for about 120 minutes before passing it, congratulates Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah for their bold and historic decision in bringing the legislation and securing its passage in Parliament.

The BJP government's move comes days after the assembly of Kerala, ruled by the CPI(M)-led LDF, passed a resolution demanding scrapping of the controversial Act, becoming the first state in the country to do so.

The new law promises Indian citizenship to persecuted non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

CAA's critics say the law is discriminatory and violates the core values of the Constitution.

Policy of appeasement of earlier governments had kept such people (persecuted minorities of these three countries) devoid of citizenship and other rights, says the BJP government-sponsored resolution, which is unlikely to face any hurdles in the assembly given the saffron party's majority.

As the nationalist government of the BJP has come to power in the country, it has implemented the new law to help such persecuted minorities of the three neighbouring countries, it further says.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah have shown far-sightedness by taking a bold and historic decision to amend the Citizenship Act by which Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Christians and Parsis of three neighbouring countries will be able to get India citizenship, it says.

This step will bring stability in the life of migrants from these three countries and fill their life with joy as they would not be considered to be illegal migrants any more, according to the proposed resolution.

The resolution slams those denouncing CAA, saying some anti-nationals and political parties opposing it are silent on the persecution of religious minorities in Pakistan.

On the other hand they are also spreading rumours that CAA will snatch citizenship of minority community, it says.

The resolution goes on to assure minority community members that CAA is for giving citizenship and not for snatching their Indian nationality. It says the assembly should welcome and lend its support to CAA.

It says, Minorities living in Pakistan have no other options but to take shelter in India as their women are being abducted and converted and thrown into flash trade, their temples and religious places attacked and destroyed, their properties are being taken away.' Indian culture is of inclusivity and it not only provides shelter to all but also helps them settle in business and jobs and allows them to stand on their own feet, it adds.

Last week, the Gujarat government had announced its decision to bring the pro-CAA resolution in the day-long assembly session.

The new law seeks to grant citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan who came to India before December 31,2014, to escape religious persecution in their home country.

However, the controversial legislation has sparked widespread protests across the country, including in Gujarat.

'To extend our support to Prime Minister Modi and his government's decision to bring CAA, a resolution supporting the new law will be brought during the assembly session,' Pradeepsinh Jadeja, Minister of State for Legislative and Parliamentary Affairs, had said last week.

The Congress has said it will oppose the resolution in the house.

This resolution is not necessary and it is being just brought to reap political benefits. The Congress will oppose the resolution in the assembly, Gujarat Congress chief whip and MLA Sailesh Parmar said.

Since it is the first assembly session of the New Year, Governor Acharya Devvrat would inaugurate it with his address.

The government will subsequently bring a resolution to thank the governor for his address to the house, Jadeja said.