Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Monday wrote to the European Parliament, saying that it was “inappropriate for one legislature to pass judgement on another”, PTI reported. Birla made the comments two days before the European Parliament is expected to debate six resolutions on India’s Citizenship Amendment Act, five of which are critical of the amended law.
“I understand that Joint Motion for Resolution has been introduced in the European Parliament on the Indian Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019,” the letter to European Parliament President David Maria Sassoli read. “This Act provides for easier citizenship to those who have been subjected to religious persecution in our immediate neighbourhood.”
“As members of Inter Parliamentary Union, we should respect sovereign processes of fellow legislatures, especially in democracies,” Birla wrote. “It is inappropriate for one legislature to pass judgement on another, a practice that can surely be misused by vested interests. I would urge you to consider the proposed resolution in this light, confident that none of us want to set an unhealthy precedent.”
The European Parliament, which is the legislative arm of the European Union, will vote on the matter on January 30. While five of the resolutions are critical of the law and the Indian administration’s handling of protests, only one, by the European Conservatives and Reformists, a centre-right political group, cautiously supports the government.
The European People’s Party group, the largest group in the European Parliament with 182 MEPs, expressed concern about the “wide range of negative consequences that it [the citizenship law] might have for India’s international image and internal stability”. The Socialists and Democrats Group, the second-largest with 154 MEPs, called the new citizenship law discriminatory, dangerously divisive” and warned that it may potentially create the “largest statelessness crisis in the world”.
‘Efforts being made outside to comment on laws made by Parliament’
Earlier in the day, Vice President and Rajya Sabha Chairperson M Venkaiah Naidu said that India was capable of taking care of its internal matters and that the country did not need “advice or guidance” to address its citizens’ concerns, PTI reported.
“There was no scope for outside interference in India’s internal matters,” he said at a book launch in New Delhi. “Our polity and democracy do provide enough space for expressing differences and dissents whenever warranted. As a result, we have emerged as the most vibrant democracy in the world.”
Naidu said that India was “now more united than ever before” after facing several challenges as a republic for 70 years and that no one should have any concerns about it. Efforts were being made outside India to comments on certain laws passed by the Parliament, the vice president said, according to The Hindu.
“We as a nation are committed to the cardinal principle of ensuring justice, liberty and equality for all of our citizens,” he said. “While we are capable of addressing our internal matters as evidenced over the last 70 years, let others do so in their respective domain.”