The Rajasthan Assembly on Saturday passed a resolution against the Citizenship Amendment Act, reported NDTV. Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has repeatedly demanded that the government revoke the controversial law. He had even accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah of plunging the country into “turmoil and unrest” with an ill-thought out Citizenship Amendment Act, National Register of Citizens and the National Population Register.
This is the third state to make such a move to oppose the law. So far, Left-ruled Kerala and Congress-led Punjab have passed such Assembly resolutions demanding the withdrawal of the law, while West Bengal has promised to bring one to its Assembly.
Rajasthan, along with Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Maharashtra and Bihar, had earlier said that it won’t implement the Citizenship Amendment Act or the population and citizen registers. The amended Citizenship Act has expedited the path to citizenship for six minority religious communities from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan, provided they have lived in India for six years and entered India before December 31, 2014. However, the government’s critics fear that since a religion criterion has been added to the Citizenship Act, only Muslims will be disproportionately affected by NRC.
Earlier this month, the Kerala government had announced it would not cooperate with any work related to updating the National Population Register, which is the first step towards creating a National Register of Citizens. The register is a proposed nationwide exercise to identify undocumented immigrants. The state has also challenged the validity of the Citizenship Act in the Supreme Court. Kerala, however, said it would cooperate with the exercise to update the Census.
However, senior Congress leaders Kapil Sibal, Salman Khurshid and Jairam Ramesh have said that it would be “constitutionally difficult” or problematic for state governments to not follow laws passed by Parliament. Ramesh also wondered if the resolutions would stand judicial scrutiny.