As the campaigning for the April 6 Assembly polls in Kerala entered the final phase, the issue of Citizenship (Amendment) Act took centre stage on Thursday with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi attacking the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance over the controversial law. While Rahul Gandhi said his party won't allow it to be implemented, Vijayan cautioned the people against the controversial law saying anyone who isn't preferred by the ruling dispensation can end up in the detention camps.
"We will not allow it to be implemented. So no need to worry about it," Rahul Gandhi said at an election meeting organised by the Congress-led UDF in Malappuram. The former Congress President, who campaigned in many of the Assembly constituencies in Wayanad and Malappuram districts on Thursday, said he had said the same thing on CAA during his Assembly election campaign in Assam two days ago.
Earlier, addressing a press conference in Kannur, Chief Minister Vijayan cited the Myanmar military's crackdown on protesters and said such a scenario can happen anywhere under a fascist regime. "Let's not be under the false impression that CAA-NRC's detention camps are meant only for a certain community. Myanmar's example is before us. Anyone who isn't preferred by the ruling dispensation can end up in it.That's how fascism works. Secularism shouldn't be compromised," Pinarayi Vijayan said.
The statements from the Congress and Communist Party of India (Marxist) leaders came a day ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's second visit to the southern state on Friday to address poll rallies. While campaigning in Assam and West Bengal, BJP president JP Nadda and Union Home Minister Amit Shah have asserted that the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, passed by Parliament, would be implemented in time.
The Union government has maintained that the CAA was passed to grant citizenship to minorities -- who are Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians -- from Islamic nations including Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. The act has been criticised for granting citizenship on the basis of religion, with critics contending that this was unconstitutional. Kerala had witnessed protests by CPI(M)-led LDF and the Congress-headed UDF seeking withdrawal of the CAA, describing it as "discriminatory" and "anti-Muslim."