Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has voiced his support in favour of the resolution passed by the Kerala Legislative Assembly seeking amendment to the controversial Citizen Amendment Act (CAA), terming it the voice of the people, and urging the Centre to heed the same.
The Chief Minister in his letter had countered the minister’s recent remarks stating “ that states taking action against CAA should appropriately seek legal advice before taking such a stand.”
He asserted that the states had already taken the necessary legal advice, and moreover he stressed on the idea of people having more say over certain issues.
He emphasised on the voice of MLAs, he said, “MLAs represent the voice of the people at large,” he said, adding that it was not only a matter of Parliamentary privilege but the constitutional duty of those representatives to make known such views.
He told that as heads of their respective states “we are neither naive nor misguided”, he reiterated, laws could not be forcibly imposed on citizens, and like all powers, even the Parliamentary power was coupled with the duty to exercise it responsibly.
According to Captain Amarinder, by insisting that only Parliament under Article 245 had the legislative power to pass laws as regards Citizenship, and not the State Governments, the Law Minister had entirely missed the point of the resolution passed by the Kerala Legislative Assembly.
“It has not passed any citizenship law. It urges the Government of India at centre to amend the CAA,” he pointed out.
“Surely, you, both as Minister of Law as well as a lawyer, know that the resolution is rightly directed, as it is Parliament which must amend/repeal such law based on a proposal/ Bill mooted by the Government of India,” Captain Amarinder quipped.
Captain Amarinder had also reminded our law minister that he was a lawyer, and should “know that the word ‘Secular’ being one of the three words specifically introduced into the Preamble by the 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act, 1976.
Given that the very fabric of our Constitution requires secular conduct, the Minister was actually asking the States to abide by the very foundation of the Constitution, he observed.
The Chief Minister also took a dig to the Law Minister’s remarks reminding the states of their “constitutional” duty to implement such laws. The leaders of such states had won their elections and taken oaths of office under the Constitution of India, he noted.