Bengal Assembly passes Anti-CAA Resolution, fourth state to do so
Bengal became the fourth state today to pass a resolution against the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act, with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee declaring that the protest "is not only of minorities, I thank my Hindu brothers for leading this protest from the forefront". Similar resolutions have already been passed by Left-ruled Kerala and Congress-ruled Punjab and Rajasthan.
"In Bengal, we won't allow CAA, NPR, and NRC. We will fight peacefully," Ms Banerjee said during her address at the state assembly. "As per the CAA, you have to become a foreigner to become a citizen... this is a terrible game, pushing people towards death. Don't fall into their trap," she added.
"The label of doubtful citizens, detention centers... is unacceptable. The way things are, it was better not to have been born. Today, people are scared that they may have to leave this country. They are queuing up for all kinds of cards," Mamata Banerjee said.
Dubbing the BJP the "Brand Ambassadors of Pakistan", Mamata Banerjee said "They always talk of Pakistan and less of Hindustan".
Kerala, which was the first state to pass a resolution against the law, had invited other opposition-ruled states to follow suit.
While the BJP has questioned the efficacy of such resolutions, declaring that it would not overturn the law and that states are constitutionally bound to follow any law passed by the Centre, the Congress and the Left and have pointed to the federal structure of India.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said such a resolution "represents the will of the people" as it comes through their elected representatives. Kerala said the amended version of the law is unconstitutional , and the assembly had a duty to pass a resolution against it.
The Citizenship Amendment Act makes religion, for the first time, the test of Indian citizenship. The government says it will help non-Muslim refugees from three Muslim-dominated neighbouring countries if they fled to India because of religious persecution.
Critics say the bill discriminates against Muslims and violates secular tenets of the Constitution.