Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Monday has written to the Speaker of the European Union as the European Parliament prepares to debate six resolutions against the Citizenship Amendment Act. In a letter to the European Parliament President David Maria Sassoli, Birla pointed out that such a resolution would set an "unhealthy precedent" and wrote, "It is inappropriate for a legislature to pass judgement on another, a practice that can be surely misused for vested interests".
“As members of Inter-Parliamentary Union, we should respect sovereign processes of fellow legislatures,” he wrote. The Lok Sabha Speaker also wrote that CAA has been passed with due deliberation in both houses of parliament. "This Act provides for granting easier citizenship to those who have been subjected to religious persecution in our immediate neighbourhood. It is not aimed at taking away citizenship from anybody," the letter read.
The Speaker's letter to Sassoli comes after close to 600 lawmakers in the 751-member European Parliament moved six resolutions against the CAA, saying the enactment of the law marked a dangerous shift in India's citizenship regime. There has been no reaction from the Ministry of External Affairs on the resolutions against the CAA in the European Parliament. Official sources, however, maintained that the CAA was an entirely internal matter of India and that the legislation was adopted through democratic means after a debate in both houses of Parliament.
"Every society that fashions a pathway to naturalisation contemplates both a context and criteria. This is not discrimination," news agency PTI quoted a government source, explaining why India is opposed to the resolutions at the EU parliament. The resolution is likely to be tabled during the session of the European Parliament that starts next week in Brussels. PM Modi is expected to visit Brussels in March for the India-European Union Summit.
Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu also expressed concern on Monday over the trend of foreign bodies meddling in matters within the purview of Indian Parliament and government. Addressing a gathering during a book launch event in New Delhi, Naidu hoped that foreign bodies would refrain from making such statements in future. “There is no scope for outside interference in India’s internal matters. Such efforts were totally uncalled for and unwarranted,” Naidu said.
(With agency inputs)