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Telangana Assembly adopts resolution against CAA, NPR, NRC

PTI Hyderabad | Updated on March 16, 2020 Published on March 16, 2020

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao

The Telangana Legislative Assembly on Monday adopted a resolution against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) National Population Register (NPR) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC). It urged the Centre to amend CAA "in order to remove all references to any religion, or to any foreign country" in view of apprehensions among a large section of people in India.

The resolution, moved by Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, said members were concerned over the proposed implementation of the NPR and NRC, "which may result in exclusion of a large number of people". It urged the Telangana government to take all steps to safeguard people of the state from exercises like NPR and NRC.

The resolution said there have been concerted attempts to tinker with the inclusive and non-religious nature of Indian citizenship through the CAA, NPR and NRC.

Besides violating the principles of equality, non-discrimination, secularism, the concerted attempt would also endanger the lives of vulnerable groups who do not possess adequate documentary proof of citizenship, it said. “Moreover, there are serious questions as to the legality and constitutionality of CAA, NPR and NRC, it said.

Grave apprehensions

The parliamentary enactment of CAA has created grave apprehensions among various sections of society that it is a prelude to NPR, which will lead to a nationwide NRC, it said.

The resolution noted that there have been protests across India against CAA and proposed implementation of NPR and NRC. On NPR, set to be rolled out from April 1, 2020 to September 30, 2020, it said there are apprehensions among people that they will be required to show documentary proof of citizenship as well as of their parents.

Noting that the Indian national movement was a convergence of various beliefs, thoughts and ideas, it said the founding fathers of the nation, on attaining Independence, embraced diversity, pluralism and secularism in the Constitution. The enactment of CAA has raised concerns that by introducing a religious test for citizenship, it insults the memory of India's founders, it said.

Citizenship on the basis of religion violates not only the principle of equality enshrined in Article 14 of the Constitution, but also the principle of secularism, which constitutes the basic structure of the Constitution, it said.

Enactment of CAA calls for a combined effort from all Indians, regardless of religious beliefs, to protect the nation’s founding values and preserve secularism, it said.

Speaking on the occasion, Rao said the state government was not blindly opposing the CAA, NPR and NRC. “We are not opposing this bluntly and blindly without any understanding. We are opposing either this CAA or NPR or NRC with a clear understanding, he said.

He expressed concern over the recent communal violence in Delhi in which many people were killed, at a time when US President Donald Trump was on a visit to the country, and also over comments and language of some MPs and Union Ministers.

In an apparent reference to NPR, Rao said he himself does not have a birth certificate, though his family had a certain stature and sought to know what would be the fate of ordinary people, Dalits, STs, MBCs, nomads and poor in Other Castes (OCs). “If documents like voter identity card, driving licence, Aadhar card, ration card and even passport are not enough to prove citizenship, what else would do?” he asked.

If at all the Centre wanted to issue a national identity card, he said he would support the idea, but it should be done in a new format by convincing one and all.

AIMIM's Akbaruddin Owaisi urged the state government to stay the NPR in the State.

Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader M Bhatti Vikramarka, supported the resolution. He also expressed concern over the country’s standing suffering with foreign publications talking about "intolerant India".

Observing that none would support entry of infiltrators into the country,he recalled that Trump had spoken of building a wall to prevent infiltrators from Mexico to enter the US. “If government of India also says we will build a wall to prevent (people) from Myanmar or any other border, we are ready to support it. Nobody will oppose,” he said.

It is because of the Army and soldiers who guard the borders that citizens are able to lead normal lives, he said. His government was of the opinion that there should not be any divisive methods within the country also, he said.

He disapproved of the alleged trend of describing some people as anti-national and said his party, TRS,was founded on foundations of secularism and the spirit of the Constitution.

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Published on March 16, 2020
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