Contradicting Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, Assembly Speaker C.P. Joshi, who is also a veteran Congress leader, said the state will have to implement CAA. Gehlot had said that his government will neither implement the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) nor the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in the state.
"The government of India has passed Citizenship Amendment Act and state government has to implement it. Under the Constitution, citizenship is a subject of the Centre, not of the state," Joshi said, reported ANI.
The New Indian Express reported his statement as: "There is a discussion in the country on CAA. This is a law and state government is not allowed to make changes to it. For example, the Centre enacted a law under the Motor Vehicles Act where states had a say whether they wanted to implement it or not. But law of citizenship is a subject under the constitution of India which cannot be tampered with."
Gehlot was one of the most vocal voices in the Congress against CAA. "Prime Minister Narendra Modi should understand the public sentiments and should take a decision accordingly. He should announce that the NRC in its present form and CAA will not be implemented," Gehlot had said. He said that 8-9 states, including Bihar and Odisha, have said that they will not implement the NRC.
Gehlot had alleged that the BJP agenda was to make India a Hindu Rashtra and questioned whether the country would remain intact if the agenda is fulfilled. "I have openly said that CAA and NRC will not be implemented in Rajasthan," he said. The chief minister said the government should repeal the CAA and the prime minister should announce that NRC will not be implemented in the country.
"They failed in implementing NRC in Assam. 19 lakh people were identified after the survey and 16 lakh of them were Hindus. When their campaign could not succeed there, they brought the citizenship amendment bill," he had said. Speaking on NRC, he said the government wants people to stand in queues for submitting their documents. Targeting the prime minister, Gehlot had said his nationalism was hollow and people were now well aware of his "tricks".
"They are ruling in arrogance. With the majority that they have, they can make laws but cannot win the hearts of people. The country is burning today. 15 people have died in violence in Uttar Pradesh and the violence is happening where BJP is ruling," Gehlot said.
-Inputs from PTI