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“Citizenship Amendment Act will not be implemented” ; Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan reemphasized that his government would not complete the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), announcing his government would not support such an “unfortunate situation” in the state. His comment comes days after Home Minister Amit Shah said the rule of awarding citizenship to expatriates under the CAA would start after the process of Covid-19 vaccination concludes. Shah had said the implementation of the law had to be held in abeyance as a consequence of the pandemic.

“The country’s home minister recently said that the CAA will be implemented after the completion of the vaccination process. We have made our stand very clear. This government will not favor such an unfortunate situation in the state. We will not stand with it and we will not implement it,” responded Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan at the inauguration of the LDF’s northern province yatra in Uppala in Kasaragod district ahead of Assembly elections following this summer. The Citizenship Amendment Act tries to give Indian citizenship to spiritual minorities, excluding Muslims, from India’s three Muslim-majority neighboring nations Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh.

“We can discuss developmental issues. But instead of that, certain people are trying to divert attention by provoking the public through communalism. It will not do any good for the state. Communalism is a danger for the state and we must be able to sweep it away,” said Vijayan, containing both the RSS and the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) liable for causing communal sentiments on the community. In December 2019, the Kerala Assembly had declared a resolution directing the scrapping of the CAA, asserting it was against the worldly outlook and foundation of the country. Both LDF and UDF MLAs had voted in support of the resolution with the only BJP MLA opposing it.

On Saturday, the LDF’s northern region rally, led by CPM acting secretary A Vijayaraghavan, signified the commencement of the Left coalition’s election arrangements. Another rally, led by CPI leader Binoy Vishwam, started from Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday, moving its way from the southern part of the state. Both rallies will finish at the same spot by the end of the month. In a discourse that endured almost 50 minutes, the chief minister insisted the people of the state have already formed up their thoughts about the return of the LDF government. He passed on to list the achievements of the government in different sectors.

“We have hiked welfare pension from Rs 600 in 2016 to Rs 1600. There are no defaults. Can this happen if not for the LDF? Will anyone else care for the poor? In 2016, there were 34 lakh beneficiaries of welfare pension. Today, it has crossed 59 lakhs. That means 25 lakh more people have been brought under the net under this government. We have spent Rs 32,034 crores for welfare pension alone. The PDS ration system has changed. During the Covid-19 pandemic, we ensured that free ration was implemented very well because we didn’t want the poor to be troubled in any way,” he added.

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The CM stated to act on the semi-high speed railway network which will support people travel from Kasaragod to Thiruvananthapuram in merely four hours has already begun. He said the state government has prepared its best to appeal in advance despite many tragedies like 2017 Cyclone Ockhi, Nipah infection surge and the century’s most damaging floods in 2018, the monsoon severity in 2019, and the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.“The government wanted the people to be unified and the results have been fruitful. We were able to collectively face these tragedies. What was deemed impossible have been made possible,” said CM.

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