New Delhi: In a rare show of solidarity, the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) and its principal rival, the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF), came together in Kerala to oppose the amended Citizenship Act, 2019 that has triggered nationwide protests.
The state’s chief minister, Pinarayi Vijayan, and leader of the opposition, Ramesh Chennithala, on Friday said that both fronts would hold a satyagraha in Thiruvananthapuram on December 16 to demand a complete repeal of the Act.
Terming the joint forum as “the unified voice of Kerala”, Vijayan said that both parties felt that the Act endangered “equality and secular values enshrined in the constitution”. He added that prominent personalities and civil society groups would also address the satyagraha.
He said that the Act was “in tune with the Hindutva agenda” and “unconstitutional”. It seeks to divide people on the basis of religion and spread chaos all over the country, he continued.
Vijayan is one of the six chief ministers who has declared that he would not allow the Bill to be implemented in the state.
The communist parties, including the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Communist Party of India, are gearing up to organise nationwide agitations against the Act.
Keeping in line, LDF convener A. Vijayaraghavan told the media that its state committee would hold protests in all district centres of Kerala. He called for “a united protest against the Central government move to rock the secular foundation of the country,” reported The Hindu.
As the BJP-led Centre remains firm on its stance of implementing the Act, Vijayaraghavan said that the saffron party was attempting to destabilise the country. He said other secular-minded parties are also supporting the joint call for protests.
“All sections of society must now come together and raise a strong voice against the bill. This is a clear violation of Article 14 of the Constitution which ensures equality before the law and protection for all individuals irrespective of their religion, caste, gender or birthplace,” CPI(M)’s Kerala unit said in a statement.
It added that such anti-constitutional moves by the Centre were deliberate attempts by the BJP to distract attention from teething problems like growing unemployment and poverty.