State Assemblies have their own privileges: Kerala CM
Thiruvananthapuram: A day after the Kerala assembly passed a resolution against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday rejected BJP's criticism against it, saying the state assemblies have their own privileges.
Reacting over the issue, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said state governments have a Constitutional duty to implement laws passed by Parliament and those vowing not to implement the Citizenship Amendment Act should seek appropriate legal opinion.
He said it was surprising that those who have come to power by taking oath under the Constitution are making "unconstitutional" statements.
His statement came a day after the Kerala assembly passed a resolution urging the Centre to withdraw the amended citizenship law.
Prasad said the government's which claim they would not allow the CAA or are getting resolutions passed against implementing it may seek appropriate legal opinion on constitutional provisions.
"It is the constitutional duty of the states to implement laws passed by Parliament," Prasad told reporters here. He said Parliament can make laws on subjects under the Union List which includes citizenship.
To drive home his point that states cannot oppose laws passed by Parliament, he referred to Clause 2 of Article 245 of the Constitution.
"Article 245 (clause 2) states that no law made by Parliament shall be deemed to be invalid on the ground that it would have extra-territorial operation," he said.
BJP's Rajya Sabha member, G V L Narasimha Rao also wrote to the House chairman M Venkaiah Naidu to initiate breach of parliamentary privileges and contempt proceedings against the Kerala CM over the resolution.
"State Assemblies have its own privileges. Such actions are unheard of anywhere. But we cannot rule out anything in the present circumstance as unprecedented things are happening now-a-days in the country," Vijayan told reporters here when asked about the breach of privilege proceedings.
The Assemblies have its own special protection and it should not be violated, he said.
Kerala has become the first state to pass a resolution against a law which has been violating the fundamental principles of the Constitution and it has great significance, the chief minister added.
On a question regarding state Governor Arif Mohammed Khan supporting the CAA, the Chief Minister said he is entitled to have his opinion on various issues.
So, his views can be seen in that way only, he added.
The Kerala Assembly on Tuesday passed a resolution demanding scrapping of the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), becoming the first state in the country to do so.
While Chief Ministers of non-BJP ruled states like Mamata Banerjee of West Bengal have announced that they would not implement CAA, CPI(M)-ruled Kerala was the first to take the legislature route to register its opposition to the law. Setting aside their political differences, the ruling CPI(M)-led LDF and Opposition Congress headed UDF, once again came together to launch a joint fight against the Centre on the CAA, which has seen unprecedented protests all over the country.
Vijayan, who moved the resolution and Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala, who seconded it, alleged that CAA was an attempt to make India a religious nation.