States have no power to reject citizenship law: MHA

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After Mamata, Pinarayi Vijayan and Amarinder Singh hit out: No CAB in Kerala, Punjab. (File)

With five chief ministers from Opposition parties saying that the citizenship law would have “no place” in their respective states, top sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs Friday said that states have no powers to reject the implementation of the new law.

“The new legislation has been enacted under the Union List of the 7th Schedule of the Constitution, so it is a subject on which states have no power,” said a top MHA source.

Chief Ministers of West Bengal, Punjab, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh have indicated that the new law will have no place in their respective states.

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There are 97 items which are under the Union List of the 7th Schedule that includes Defence, External Affairs, Railways, Citizenship and Naturalisation, among others.

On Thursday, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had said that “an anti-constitutional law will have no place” in his state.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said, “In your (BJP) manifesto, instead of development issues, you have put in a promise to divide the country. Why will citizenship be on the basis of religion? I will not accept this. We dare you...”

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said his government would not allow the legislation to be implemented in his state.

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel said the Act was “clearly unconstitutional”. “Whatever decision is made at the Congress party forum on the Bill, will be applied in Chhattisgarh,” he said.