The Chief Minister of Kerala Pinrayi Vijayan on Thursday has termed the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) 2019 unconstitutional. Vijayan also accused the Central government of dividing the country on the basis of religious lines. This statement of Vijayan comes after the Bill was passed in both the houses and awaits the President's approval to become a law.
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."
On Wednesday, the Rajya Sabha passed the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019 (CAB) by a majority of 125-105 votes. This comes after more than 40 MPs including P Chidambaram, Kapil Sibal, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Derek O'Brien, Sanjay Singh, Sanjay Raut, and Vaiko put forth their arguments either in favour or against the CAB. Some members including the Shiv Sena MPs walked out before the commencement of the voting process. Earlier on Monday, the Lower House of Parliament cleared the legislation with a landslide margin. Once the President gives his assent to the Bill, it will immediately come into operation.
Earlier on Monday, Lok Sabha passed the Citizenship Bill after the conclusion of a 12-hour-long debate, which saw the participation of 38 MPs from across the political spectrum, Lok Sabha passed the Citizenship Bill with a majority of 311 votes against 80 votes in the Lower House where 391 members were present and voted.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill seeks to grant Indian citizenship to refugees from Hindu, Christian, Sikh, Buddhist and Zoroastrian communities who fleed fearing religious persecution from countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh, and entered India on or before December 31, 2014. CAB was approved by the Parliament after Rajya Sabha passed the bill on December 11.