Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday slammed the BJP government for the ongoing protests and violence against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in different parts of the country. He said that the BJP-RSS was trying to implement their agenda in the country. He also mentioned that Kerala would stand united against the CAA. Vijayan and Leader of Opposition in the assembly Ramesh Chennithala are attending a joint protest against CAA in Thiruvananthapuram.
During his speech, Vijayan said, "The present atmosphere has been created by BJP-RSS, they are trying to implement their agenda. The situation in the country is volatile. Kerala is standing together against the Citizenship Amendment Act. This is an attempt to divert attention from issues. Freedom has been hard-fought in the country. India is a secular country. A secular India is a place where people from different religions can co-exist. Recently the citizenship amendment bill was passed in both houses of the parliament. The passing of the Bill has witnessed protests across the country. Kerala is united against the Bill. This gathering is a sign of our unity."
Earlier on December 13, the Chief Minister of Kerala Pinrayi Vijayan had termed the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) 2019 unconstitutional. Vijayan also accused the Central government of dividing the country on the basis of religious lines.
Speaking to the media Vijayan said, "Kerala will not accept Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB). CAB is unconstitutional. The central government is trying to divide India on religious lines. This is a move to sabotage equality and secularism."
The CAA seeks to provide citizenship to the minority communities namely Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan. This will be applicable to the members of these communities having arrived in India on or before December 31, 2014. Moreover, they will not be considered as illegal migrants. Additionally, the mandatory residence period for naturalised citizenship for these communities would be reduced to 5 years. Several states in the North East have witnessed protests against this legislation. The opposition contends that the Act discriminates on the basis of religion, which might go against Article 14, which guarantees the right to equality.