Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati on Sunday suspended party MLA Ramabai Parihar for voicing his support to the Citizenship Amendment Act, PTI reported. The legislator from Patheria constituency in Madhya Pradesh had on Saturday evening congratulated the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party at the Centre for introducing the legislation.
The BSP has strongly opposed the amended Citizenship Act that provides citizenship to six religious minority groups from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, provided they have lived in India for six years. The cut-off date is December 31, 2014. Last week, Mayawati had advised the Centre to allay Muslims’ concerns about the citizenship law, and the proposed National Register of Citizens – an exercise to identify and distinguish undocumented immigrants from genuine Indian citizens.
“The BSP is a disciplined party and if discipline is broken, immediate action is taken against MPs and MLAs of the party,” Mayawati tweeted on Sunday. “BSP MLA Ramabai Parihar from Patheria has been suspended from the party for supporting the Citizenship Amendment Act. She has also been banned from participating in the party events.”
The BSP chief said that her party was the first one to proclaim that the amendments to the citizenship law was “against the ethos of the Constitution”. She said her party voted against the legislation when it was passed in Parliament on December 11.
“Despite this Ramabai Parihar went on to express his support for the legislation,” Mayawati said. The politician said that Parihar had been cautioned against making comments against the party line on other occasions.
At the event on Saturday, the suspended BSP MLA congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union minister Prahlad Patel and Home Minister Amit Shah for ensuring that the legislation was passed smoothly in the Parliament. “It’s a great decision which should have been taken much before, but it seems those in power the past weren’t competent of taking such decision,” she said, according to NDTV. “I and my family support CAA.”
At least 26 people have died in the protests – 19 of them in Uttar Pradesh where the police have been accused of using excessive force to deal with the demonstrators.