West Bengal became the fourth opposition-ruled state to pass a resolution against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in its assembly, after Kerala, Punjab and Rajasthan.
The resolution, moved by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Partha Chatterjee was passed unanimously by the House, with Congress and Left members, along with those of the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC), supporting it. The BJP opposed it.
The resolution noted that since the CAA was passed there was violence in “almost every State.” In the CAA, “religion has been used as a yardstick to measure eligibility to apply for Indian citizenship” and “the ruling party in the Centre has been driving a wedge among the people using religion [thus] damaging human rights,” it said.
The resolution criticised the Centre for issuing a notice to conduct a National Population Register (NPR) and a nationwide National Register of Citizens (NRC) “without clear guidelines”, creating “panic among people”. It pointed out that on July 31, 2018, the State Assembly passed a resolution demanding the withdrawal of the NRC in Assam, and followed it with another resolution on September 6, 2019 that opposed NRC in West Bengal.
“This House has been informed by the news media that the Prime Minister has informed that the CAA will not be used to take away anyone’s right to citizenship. However, [this information] has not been mentioned in the CAA, which has created confusion,” the Monday resolution said.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee described the CAA as something that was against the spirit of the Constitution and demanded its repeal. “It is not a small Hindu Muslim issue…the issue is of humanity…this law is a shame on humanity.” The BJP was trying to do some experiments based on their party manifesto and it did not care about the country, she alleged.