Joint protests to be held in Kerala against Citizenship Amendment Act

A meeting of various political parties and socio-religious outfits, convened by Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan here on Sunday decided to hold joint protests against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

Thiruvananthapuram: A meeting of various political parties and socio-religious outfits, convened by Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan here on Sunday decided to hold joint protests against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

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The over three-hour long meeting, attended by MLAs, MPS, major Front leaders and representatives of various outfits, entrusted the Chief Minister and leader of opposition in the assembly Ramesh Chennithala, with holding discussions and decide upon further course of action in this connection.

While the major opposition, Congress-led UDF, urged the Left government to convene a special assembly session to express the state’s concern on the implementation of CAA, two BJP leaders, who took part in the meeting, boycotted the session after Chief Minister’s speech alleging that the meeting was “unconstitutional”.

A joint protest gathering, held by the ruling CPI(M)-led LDF and opposition Congress-headed UDF, against the Act held on December 16 had caught the national attention as arch political rivals shed their ideological differences and joined hands for a common cause.

After the meeting, Chennithala told reporters that different kinds of joint protests would be held in the state against the CAA.

“Our major demand in the meeting was to convene a special assembly session to express the state’s concern over CAA.

We also wanted to send an all-party delegation to meet the President and appraise the concerns,” he said divulging the details of the discussions.

The opposition wanted the state government not to slap cases against those protesting the controversial law, he said adding action should be taken to ensure that the draconian laws like UAPA were not being invoked against them.

“We wanted to know whether the government has got any directive to set up detention centres in the state and the action they have taken in this connection.

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We also wanted the government to organise more awareness campaigns to alleviate concerns of people over CAA,” the leader of opposition added.

The Chief Minister Vijayan assured that the opposition’s demands would be considered, he said and added that ruling and opposition leaders would hold discussions and take a final call on the future course of the anti-CAA protests.

Chennithala has also convened a meeting of Muslim outfits this evening to address the fear and concerns of the community.

Meanwhile, BJP leaders, M S Kumar and J R Padmakumar, told reporters that they boycotted the meeting as it was “illegal,” “undemocratic” and “unconstitutional”.

“The state government has no right to convene a meeting against an Act, passed in both Houses of the Parliament.

They also cannot organise protests and agitations by spending money from the state exchequer,” Padmakumar said.

The BJP leaders said they also wanted the meeting to discuss the protests against the Governor Arif Muhammed Khan during the Indian History Congress in Kannur on Saturday, but the Chief Minister did not consider their request.

Around 50 leaders, representing various political and socio-religious outfits, took part in the meeting.

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(PTI)

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