‘Engage With India’: Govt to Anti-CAA Resolution Sponsors in EU
The European Union (EU) Parliament on Monday, 27 January, clarified that it was an independent institution and that the text referred to as draft resolution against India’s Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, are by the by political groups.
“The European Parliament is an independent institution, sovereign in the organisation of its work and in its deliberations,” said the statement, reported ANI.
Earlier, on Sunday, ahead of a debate on a batch of resolutions against India's new citizenship law by the powerful bloc of 28 nations, Indian government sources had told news agency PTI that the EU Parliament should not take any action questioning the rights and authority of democratically elected legislatures.
The EU Parliament is set to debate on the resolutions tabled by a large chunk of its members against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), saying the enactment of the new law marked a dangerous shift in India's citizenship regime.
The new law, passed by Parliament last month, offers citizenship to non-Muslim persecuted religious minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. India has been witnessing massive protests against the new law with opposition parties, civil rights groups and activists saying granting citizenship based on religion is against the foundational principle of the Constitution.
‘CAA Internal Matter of India’
Reiterating New Delhi's stated position, French diplomatic sources said the CAA was an entirely internal matter of India and that the legislation was adopted through democratic means after a debate in both houses of Parliament.
“For France, the CAA is India's internal political matter and it has been stated on several occasions,” sources said.
A total of six resolutions have been tabled by groups within the EU, including the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament (S&D), Group of the European People's Party (Christian Democrats) (PPE), Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance (Verts/ALE), European Conservatives and Reformists Group (ECR), Renew Europe Group (Renew) and European United Left/Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL) Group.
The resolutions have a similar theme with a number of them, such as the one tabled by the GUE/NGL Group, also making a reference to the revocation of Article 370 of the Constitution that gave a special status to Jammu and Kashmir. They are set to be debated in the European Parliament in Brussels next Wednesday and voted the day after.
‘Engage Constructively With Protesters’
The resolutions urge the Indian authorities to "engage constructively" with those protesting against the law and consider their demands to repeal the "discriminatory CAA".
"Instead of addressing the concerns, offering corrective action, calling for security forces to act with restraint and ensuring accountability, many government leaders have been engaging in efforts to discredit, rebuke and threaten the protesters," it stated.
The Indian government has been emphasising that the new law does not deny any citizenship rights, but has been brought to protect the oppressed minorities of neighbouring countries and give them citizenship.
Congress leader Kapil Sibal slammed the government stating that the Centre should have spoken to those opposing the CAA.
“Today, the whole world is discussing whatever is happening in India. If they themselves are involved in vote bank politics it will damage India's image globally,” said Sibal, reported News18.
Senior BJP leader and Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Monday, questioned the objectivity of members of European Union Parliament who have backed resolutions against CAA, asking if they ever raised their voices over "victimisation" of minority Hindus and Sikhs in Pakistan.
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