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January 28, 2020

Bengal becomes 4th state to pass anti-CAA resolution

Top Story

January 28, 2020

KOLKATA: West Bengal on Monday became the fourth opposition-ruled state to pass a resolution against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in its assembly, after Kerala, Punjab and Rajasthan, foreign media reported.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's All India Trinamool Party (TMC) controls more than two-thirds of the seats in the 294-member House but faces a major test of its popularity in the 2021 state election, which will pit it against a BJP buoyed by its performance in last year’s general election.

Mamata Banerjee has said the CAA and the NRC citizenship verification drive can only be enforced in Bengal over her “dead body”. (The central government initially floated the idea of implementing a citizens register across India, but later backtracked)

Kapil Sibal, the Congress leader and senior Supreme Court lawyer, says states can pass resolutions asking the Centre to withdraw the CAA but cannot refuse outright to implement it.

Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao of Telangana, seen as closer to the central government than opposition parties, has also promised a resolution opposing the CAA.

Opponents of the CAA feel it deliberately excludes Muslims while offering fast-track citizenship for Pakistani, Afghan and Bangladeshi illegal immigrants from six minority religious groups, including Hindus — provided they entered India on or before December 31, 2014.