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Anti-CAA stand ‘unconstitutional’: Nirmala

Dubbing as “unconstitutional” the stand of some states that the Citizenship Amendment Act would not be implemented, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday said all have the responsibility to ensure a law passed by Parliament is enforced.

Anti-CAA stand ‘unconstitutional’: Nirmala
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and state BJP leader Vanathi Srinivasan at an interactive session


Defending the Citizenship Amendment Act, she maintained there was no necessity to mix up the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and National Population Register with the CAA and appealed to those opposing the Act not to make allegations that would lead to unrest among the public.

The Finance Minister also rejected allegations that the Narendra Modi government was selective in granting citizenship and said Pakistani singer Adnan Sami and over 3,900 others from neighbouring countries had been given citizenship in the last six years.

Speaking at an interactive event here on the controversial CAA, organised by the Chennai Citizens’ Forum, she said the resolutions passed by some state assemblies, including Kerala, against the law was a political statement.

“We can understand that. But saying they will not implement it, then it is against the law. It is unconstitutional to say that...  Everybody in this country has the responsibility to implement the law which has been passed in Parliament,” she stressed.

The Kerala and Punjab assemblies have adopted resolutions demanding repeal of the CAA which has triggered widespread protests across the country. Kerala government has also moved the Supreme Court against the law.Several state governments, including Kerala, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal and Maharashtra have voiced their disagreement with the CAA, as well as the NRC and the NPR.

Sitharaman said that during the last six years, a total of 2,838 Pakistan nationals, including Adnan Sami, 914 from Afganisthan and 172 from Bangladesh, including Taslima Nasreen, have received Indian citizenshi This included 566 Muslims.

“The CAA is not against the Muslims,” she said and added that none of the Muslims in the country would be affected by the CAA.

Asserting that the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) was to provide citizenship and not to snatch one, Nirmala said the government was ready to talk with those who have apprehensions that they would be deprived of citizenship. “Those talking against CAA, why are they not talking about the refugee camps. Those who did not talk about human rights are talking against the CAA,” she sought to know.

“From 1964 to 2008 more than 4,00,000 Tamils (from Sri Lanka) have been given Indian citizenship,” she added.

Man detained for sloganeering minutes before FM’s arrival at Chennai airport

A man was detained by security officals at Chennai airport on Sunday when he shouted ‘down down NPR,’ minutes before Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman arrived here to address a pro-CAA event. Police said the man had arrived at the airport to meet a relative and enquired why there was enhanced security. On being told that the FM would be arriving here, he shouted ‘down down NPR,’ following which he was detained, they said. Nirmala Sitharaman was here to address a CAA event, which is part of BJP’s nationwide ‘Jan Jagran Abhiyan’ campaign in support of the Citizenship Amendment Act.

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