The Congress-led Punjab government today passed a resolution against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in the state assembly, becoming the second state in the country to do so after Kerala.
"We have sent a draft to Centre to make changes necessary to make Citizenship Amendment Act acceptable to everyone. Census is being carried out now, it will be done on old level. Every citizen will be counted whether he is Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Christian or anybody," Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh was quoted as saying by news agency ANI after the resolution got passed in the assembly.
Minister Brahm Mohindra moved the resolution in the Assembly by saying that the new citizenship law, passed by the Parliament in December, has "caused countrywide anguish and social unrest in the country including Punjab".
The resolution says the ideology behind the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) is "inherently discriminatory and as far away as it can be from being a humanitarian measure."
"It is evident that the CAA violates the secular identity of India, which is basic feature of our Constitution; therefore, the House resolves to urge the Government of India to repeal the CAA to avoid any discrimination on the basis of religion in granting citizenship and to ensure equality before law for all religious groups in India," the resolution read.
"Given the apprehensions about National Register of Citizens and that the National Population Register is a prelude to the National Register of Citizens designed to deprive a section of persons from citizenship of India and implement Citizenship Amendment Act, this House further resolves that Central government should amend the forms/documentation associated with the National Population Register to allay such apprehension in the minds of the people and only thereafter undertake work of enumeration under National Population Register," the resolution added.
The resolution also said the amended law on citizenship seeks to negate the very secular fabric on which the Constitution of India is based.
The Kerala government became the first government to challenge the new Citizenship (Amendment) Act in the Supreme Court amid nationwide protests against the religion-based citizenship law. The Supreme Court is already hearing over 60 petitions against the law.
While the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), eases the path for non-Muslims in the neighbouring Muslim-majority nations of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh to become Indian citizens, the critics fear that the CAA, along with a proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC), will discriminate against the Muslims.
(With inputs from ANI, PTI)