The Election Commission on Wednesday issued a notice to the Kerala government after Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan announced that his administration had withdrawn cases filed against individuals in connection with anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests in the state, The Hindu reported on Friday.

The chief electoral officer of Kerala has asked the state’s chief secretary to file a response in the matter by Saturday.

Last week, Vijayan had announced that 629 of the 835 cases that have been filed in Kerala in connection with protests against the contentious citizenship law had been withdrawn from trial courts. The government may have to recall the decision to withdraw the cases if the Election Commission finds it to be in violation of the Model Code of Conduct, according to The Hindu.

The Model Code of Conduct is a set of guidelines issued by the Election Commission that political parties and governments are mandated to follow while campaigning.

The Citizenship Amendment Act, approved by Parliament on December 11, 2019, offers an expedited route to citizenship to refugees from six minority religious communities – except Muslims – from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

After Vijayan’s announcement, Bharatiya Janata Party state unit chief K Surendran alleged that the move was aimed at appeasing and garnering the votes of a particular community by creating “communal polarisation” and appealed to the Election Commission to intervene in the matter.

Several Muslim organisations in Kerala had been demanding the withdrawal of criminal cases that have been filed in the state, largely against Muslim protestors.

Indian Muslims fear that the citizenship law could be used, along with the nationwide National Register of Citizens, to harass and disenfranchise them. The National Register of Citizens is a proposed exercise to identify undocumented immigrants.

On March 11, after the Centre notified the rules for the implementation of the citizenship law, Vijayan reiterated his stance that the law was against the principle of secularism. On Thursday, Vijayan said that the law is meant to “legalise the ideology of hatred of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh”, the parent body of the BJP, reported The Economic Times.