Two days after the Kerala Assembly passed a resolution seeking the withdrawal of Citizenship Amendment Act, Governor Arif Mohammed Khan on Thursday (January 2) said that the state government has no constitutional or legal right to pass such resolution because citizenship was a central subject. “This resolution has no legal or constitutional validity because citizenship is exclusively a central subject, this actually means nothing,” said Khan.
On Tuesday (December 31), Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had moved the resolution against the CAA and it was supported by all 140 MLAs in Kerala Assembly except one BJP legislator. “I want to make it clear that no detention centres will come up in Kerala. Kerala has a long history of secularism, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, everyone reached our land. Christians and Muslims reached Kerala in the very beginning. Our tradition is of inclusiveness. Our assembly needs to keep the tradition alive,” Vijayan had said in the Assembly.
He had said that the implementation of CAA is a “violation of the fundamental right of equality”. “The CAA 2019 passed by both houses of the Parliament has created concern among various communities, there has also been state wide protest against the same. In Kerala there has been a peaceful and untied agitation in general (against the CAA). The Act, which has set new guidelines for granting citizenship, is a violation of the fundamental right of equality as mentioned in the part III of the Constitution,” noted the Kerala chief minister.
Meanwhile, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Tuesday said that no state legislature has the power to pass any law with regard to citizenship. "Citizenship, naturalisation and aliens are entry 17 on the Union list. Therefore, it is only the Parliament that has the power to pass any law with regards to citizenship, not any Assembly, including Kerala," Prasad said.
Taking a jibe at Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Prasad had said, "The constitution has a mandate -- Parliament - List 1, State Assemblies - List 2. I would again urge the Chief Minister to kindly have better legal advice."