• Anti-CAA signature campaign begins in Tamil Nadu

    Neelambaran A

    February 4, 2020

    The Secular Progressive Alliance (SPA) in Tamil Nadu held a signature campaign on February 2 demanding withdrawal of the amendment made in the Citizenship Act, 1955. The SPA, led by the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), has planned to submit one crore signatures to President Ram Nath Kovind. The Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) violates secular principles framed by Indian Constitution, accused the leaders of the SPA. The campaign will be run till February 8.

    The parties have also demanded the state government do not to proceed with the work related to National Register of Citizens (NRC). The state government, however, has downplayed the impact of the CAA, NRC and National Population Register (NPR).

    Diversionary and Divisive

    The DMK president M K Stalin inaugurated the campaign in Kolathur near Chennai. He termed the introduction of CAA, NRC ad NPR a tactic of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government to divert attention from its failures on multiple fronts including economy and increasing unemployment. The SPA urged the state government to convene a special Assembly session and pass a resolution against the CAA. However, the state government has refused to make any promises.

    DMK leader and Member of Parliament Kanimozhi Karunanidhi, while participating in the campaign in Thoothukudi, told The Hindu, “CAA is one of those anti-people policies. After BJP passed the bill in Parliament, there have been voluntary protests against it by people across the country.” She also said that the CAA could categorise a lot of people as doubtful citizens and invited all sections of the society to participate in the anti-CAA signature campaign.

    "Withdraw Amendment"

    A senior leader of the Communist Party of India (CPI), R Nallakannu, took part in the campaign at Saidapet in Chennai. The state secretary of Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)], K Balakrishnan condemned the amendment that provides citizenship on the basis of religion. He also added that Sri Lankan Tamils, who are living in Tamil Nadu as refugees, should be given citizenship. The leaders of the Left parties blamed the BJP-ruled Centre for creating animosity among the different religious groups by amending the citizenship act.

    Anti-CAA Rally in Coimbatore

    In Coimbatore, a massive rally was taken out opposing the CAA, NRC and NPR. The leaders of various political parties and members from different Muslim jamaats took part in the rally. The organisers requested the participants not to cooperate with the NRC exercise. They also urged the state government not to allow the NRC process in the state. The participants in the rally demanded action against the minister for milk and dairy development for inciting communal violence. The minister was reportedly accusing the activities of the Muslim community for the increase in Hindu extremism.

    Recently, AIADMK leaders and ministers have been spotted echoing views of the BJP, accusing the minority community of causing communal tensions.

    The majority of the political parties in the state—except All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) and the Desiya Murpokku Dravidar Kazhagam (DMDK) led by actor Vijayakanth—continue to oppose CAA. Another ally of AIADMK and BJP, the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) led by Dr Ramadoss has changed its stance after supporting the bill in Rajya Sabha. The PMK too has demanded a resolution in the state Assembly against CAA.

    First published in NewsClick

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