Congress led Opposition calls for withdrawal of CAA, NPR

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DAY after Congress led opposition parties have adopted a resolution opposing the amended citizenship act, National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the National Population Register (NRP), Kerala government has moved India’s Supreme Court challenging the constitutional validity of the CAA. Several petitions are pending in the country’s apex court and some high courts filed by various organizations and some lawmakers against the federal legislation approved by the two Houses of Parliament. SC has accepted the GOI’s plea to transfer all the petitions from the HCs for clubbing with those already filed in the apex court for hearing. Several leading  state leaders including West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, former Chief Ministers of Uttar Pradesh Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati, DMK supremo MK Stalin and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal were among those stayed away from the meet conveyed by and chaired by AICC President Sonia . Significantly, all the absentee leaders   have launched movements in their own turf against CAA, NPR a well NRC despite the government taking no decision on the controversial NRC which failed to fulfil the desired objective. Sonia Gandhi said the NPR is first step to NRC. Why also slammed the NDA government for “shockingly partisan and brutal crackdown “ on the students and youth demanding  withdrawal of the contentious CAA and NPR. “The CAA, NPR and NRC is a package that is unconstitutional, which specifically targets the poor, the downtrodden, the SC/STs and the linguistic and religious minorities. The NPR is the basis for the NRC. We demand the withdrawal of the CAA and the immediate stoppage of the nationwide NRC/NPR”. Congress president Sonia Gandhi said the BJP-led government has let loose a reign of oppression, spreading hatred and trying to divide people along sectarian lines and asserted that there was “unprecedented turmoil” in the country. Accusing the Prime Minister and Home Minister of misleading the nation on CAA and NRC,  Gandhi said: “They have contradicted their own statements of only weeks ago, and continue with their provocative statements while remaining insensitive to the state suppression and violence that is increasingly becoming commonplace.”Talking about the nation-wide spontaneous protests by youths supported by citizens from all walks of life, she said, “The immediate cause is the CAA and NRC but they reflect widespread frustration and pent up anger, which is now out in the open. The response of the police in UP and Delhi has been shockingly partisan and brutal.”

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Union minister and BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said, “Opposition resolution must have made Pakistan happy. The CAA is a chance to expose barbaric treatment of minorities in Pakistan.”He also pointed out that six parties skipping the meet exposed the myth of Opposition unity. Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi, while briefing the media after the meeting, said that the NRC and CAA are not the real issues and are being used by the government to divert attention from the economic slowdown and lack of jobs. “PM Modi has failed to address the economic slowdown and is trying to divert attention to other issues”. The resolution was adopted at the meeting of Opposition parties in the capital, which had been called to evolve a joint strategy on CAA-NRC. Six major Opposition parties, however, skipped the meet. The SP, BSP, AAP, Trinamool Congress, Shiv Sena and DMK were conspicuous by their absence. But Congress sources said there was some “communication gap” with parties like Shiv Sena and Samajwadi Party, others said the parties were absent mostly because of local issues. The  resolution says the states represented by them in the meet will not implement the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in their states must consider to suspend the National Population Register (NPR) enumeration also as it is a prelude to the NRC”.“The CAA, NPR and NRC is a package that is unconstitutional, which specifically targets the poor, the downtrodden, the SC/STs and the linguistic and religious minorities. The NPR is the basis for the NRC. We demand the withdrawal of the CAA and the immediate stoppage of the nationwide NRC/NPR”.Congress president Sonia Gandhi said the BJP-led government has let loose a reign of oppression, spreading hatred and trying to divide people along sectarian lines and asserted that there was “unprecedented turmoil” in the country. PM  and Home Minister have contradicted their own statements of only weeks ago, and continue with their provocative statements .Praising the nation-wide spontaneous protests by youths supported by citizens from all walks of life, she said, “The immediate cause is the CAA and NRC but they reflect widespread frustration and pent up anger, which is now out in the open. The response of the police in UP and Delhi has been shockingly partisan and brutal.”She also said at the meeting that the real issue facing India was the collapse of economic activity and slowing growth and development affecting all sections of society, especially the poor and disadvantaged.(edited by PK Chakravarty)

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