Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Wednesday defended his party's support to the amendment to the Citizenship Act in Parliament saying the law will not affect any Indian, to whichever religion one may belong. The AIADMK MPs, both in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, had voted in support of the bill.
"The Citizenship Amendment Act will not impact any Indian living in India, whichever religion they may profess," he said in his first reaction to the CAA after protests by students and opposition parties broke out in Tamil Nadu.
Speaking to reporters in Salem, the Chief Minister quoted Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah and said that the two leaders have amply clarified that the CAA will not affect any Indian citizen. "They have clarified in both Parliament and through the media..this will not affect Indians at all...this amendment will have no bearing for any Indian and still you are repeating the question," he said.
On Indian citizenship to Tamil refugees from Sri Lanka, he said late AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa had batted for dual citizenship for them. In 2016, when she visited Modi after the State Assembly elections, she had sought this recognition for them from the Centre and the same continued to be the stand of the AIADMK, he said.
Palaniswami, who is also the AIADMK co-coordinator, said he had made the same representation to Modi when he called on him after the passing away of "Amma," (Jayalalithaa) in December 2016, he said. "A memorandum has also been given seeking dual citizenship for Tamil refugees from Sri Lanka," he said adding AIADMK Rajya Sabha MPs also clarified this aspect when the Bill was taken up in the Upper House.
Hitting out at DMK president M K Stalin for claiming that AIADMK has betrayed Sri Lankan Tamils, he said the chief of the principal opposition party has been deliberately spreading false information.
(With PTI inputs)