Speaking on the floor of the Tamil Nadu Assembly on Tuesday, Chief Minister Edapaddi Palaniswami asserted that no individual born in the state was affected by the recently passed Citizenship Amendment Act. He was responding to Leader of Opposition MK Stalin’s grouse about the fate of the Sri Lankan Tamils being ignored in the aforesaid legislation. Claiming that people were spreading misinformation about the CAA, the TN CM urged the DMK to explain who was affected by the Act.
Palaniswami clarified that the state had no authority to not implement the CAA as citizenship law was solely the prerogative of the Central government. Subsequently, the DMK MLAs walked out of the Assembly. The support of AIADMK MPs was crucial for the passage of the CAA in Rajya Sabha. On the other hand, the DMK has been vehemently opposed to this legislation.
Edapaddi Palaniswami stated, “Anyone born on Tamil Nadu soil is not affected by citizenship law. People are cheating and spreading false information about CAA. DMK should explain who was affected by this act. The federal government will decide on the citizenship law. They do not have the authority to return it.”
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 has been reduced to five years.
February 14 witnessed massive protests against the CAA and the National Register of Citizens at Washermanpet in Chennai. As the protest turned violent, the police detained over 100 protesters. According to the police, a woman joint commissioner, two women constables, and a sub-inspector were injured in stone-pelting.
However, the protesters claimed that the police resorted to a lathi-charge. In the state Assembly, the TN CM defended the police action, citing that the protests had been instigated by some miscreants. Maintaining that the government’s version was false, DMK chief MK Stalin alleged that the police personnel attacked peaceful protesters.