Tamil Nadu government will not implement “divisive” CAA in the state: CM Stalin

Stalin also reiterated that the CAA went against pluralism, secularism, minority communities and the Sri Lankan Tamil refugees.

BySouth First Desk

Published Mar 12, 2024 | 3:54 PMUpdatedMar 12, 2024 | 3:55 PM

MK Stalin asks PM to stop maligning Tamils for votes

Tamil Nadu has joined neighbouring Kerala in announcing that the state will not implement the CAA. A statement from Chief Minister MK Stalin conveyed the message on Tuesday, 12 March, dismissing the CAA as “divisive and bereft of any use”.

Hitting out at the BJP regime at the Centre for notifying the rules for implementing the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) “in haste'” when the Lok Sabha polls were around the corner, Stalin said the CAA and its rules went against the basic structure of the Constitution.

The release said, “There is not going to be any use or benefits due to the CAA, which only paves the way for creating divisions among the Indian people. The government’s stand is that this law is completely unwarranted; it is one that must be repealed.”

Hence, “the Tamil Nadu government will not give any opportunity in any manner to implement the CAA in Tamil Nadu,” he asserted in the official release.

Stalin further reassured, “At this time, I would like to make it clear to the people of Tamil Nadu that the Government of Tamil Nadu will not give place to any law which will affect the unity of the Indian nation.”

Against secularism

Stalin, also president of the ruling DMK, reiterated that the CAA went against pluralism, secularism, minority communities and the Sri Lankan Tamil refugees.

Recalling his government’s stand against the Act, Stalin said, “On 8 September 2021, as soon the DMK government was formed, we passed a resolution to repeal the act.”

The resolution in the Assembly urged the Union government to repeal the CAA to safeguard the nation’s unity, uphold social harmony, and protect the ideal of secularism enshrined in the Constitution.

Also Read: Modi government announces notification of CAA rules ahead of LS elections

CAA linked to NRC

The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) also opposed the notification of rules under the CAA, saying it violates the secular principle of the Constitution by linking citizenship to religious identity.

In a statement, the party also said that the implementation of the rules was linked to the National Register of Citizens and raised the apprehension that citizens of Muslim origin would be targeted.

“The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) strongly opposes the notification of the rules under the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA). The CAA violates the secular principle of citizenship enshrined in the Constitution by linking citizenship to religious identity,” the statement said.

“The rules notified under the Act operationalise this discriminatory approach towards Muslims coming from neighbouring countries. The implementation of the Act is also linked to the creation of a National Register of Citizens, raising apprehensions that citizens of Muslim origin will be targeted,” it added.

The party said the rules had been devised to exclude the state governments from identifying and enrolling people for citizenship in their state.

“This has been done to exclude those state governments which have opposed the CAA itself,” it said.

The CPI(M) also questioned the timing of the notification.

“The timing of the notification of the rules more than four years after the adoption of the CAA and just days before the notification for the Lok Sabha election makes it clear that the BJP wants to use the implementation of the CAA for divisive and polarising purposes,” it said.

“The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) reiterates its opposition to the CAA and its implementation and will continue with efforts to get this pernicious law annulled,” the party said.

Kerala CM rejects the act

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, too, on Monday, 11 March, described CAA as a communally divisive law and asserted that it would not be implemented in the state.

“The Union government’s decision to notify the rules of the CAA just ahead of the elections is to upset the country. This is to divide people, incite communal sentiments, and undermine the very basic principles of the Constitution,” Vijayan said in a Facebook post in Malayalam.

He said the move could be seen only as the Hindutva communal agenda of the Sangh Parivar.

“Defining Indian citizenship in terms of religion is an open challenge to humanity, the country’s tradition and its people,” wrote Vijayan, adding that Kerala was the first state to pass an ordinance against CAA.

“This government had said several times that the CAA, which considers Muslim minorities as second-class citizens, would not be implemented in Kerala. And we are reiterating the same,” added Vijayan.

The CAA rules

With the CAA rules being notified, the Modi government will now start granting Indian nationality to persecuted non-Muslim migrants— Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis and Christians from three neighbouring countries—Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh who came to India before 31 December 2014.

The CAA was passed in December 2019 and subsequently received the President’s assent, but protests were held in several parts of the country against it. The law could not come into effect as rules had not been notified until now.

“These rules, called the Citizenship (Amendment) Rules, 2024, will enable the persons eligible under CAA-2019 to apply for the grant of Indian citizenship,” a home ministry spokesperson said.

The nine states where Indian citizenship by registration or naturalisation is given under the Citizenship Act of 1955 to non-Muslim minorities from the three neighbouring countries are Gujarat, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Maharashtra.

CAA: Opposition leaders term it “divisive law”; will not implement, says Kerala CM

(With PTI inputs)

(Edited by Sumavarsha Kandula)