New Delhi: On India’s 71st year as a Republic, the people of Kerala are set to form a 620-km human chain demanding the withdrawal of the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC).
Organised by the ruling Left Democratic Front, the human chain will stretch from Kasargod in the north to the state’s southernmost town of Kaliyakkavila.
The chain will be led by the chief minister Pinaryi Vijayan himself, with Left leader S. Ramachandran Pillai flagging it off from Kasargod and senior leader M A Baby doing so from Kaliyakkavila.
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The LDF convenor A. Vijayaraghavan told The News Minute, “We have organised close to 37,000 meetings to invite people to participate in the protest. These meetings have been attended by 35 lakh people. We are expecting a minimum of 70 lakh people from all walks of life to join the protest tomorrow. This kind of participation could make this human chain one of the largest mass movements India has witnessed.”
Tomorrow, on Republic Day, the people of Kerala will form a Grand Human Chain across the state, from Kasargode to Thiruvananthapuram, at 4 PM to pledge to uphold the Constitution and demand the repeal of CAA. Solidarity! pic.twitter.com/g4ATokrdsI
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Many prominent personalities including writers, artists, Kathakali dancers, dancers, musicians, and others are expected to join the chain, according to Vijayaraghavan.
The LDF has been running a publicity campaign on social media and elsewhere requesting people to join the human chain.
Kerala is also the first state to have officially passed a resolution against CAA in the assembly. Punjab did the same days later while West Bengal assembly will pass a similar resolution on January 28, 2020.
A video was also released by the Communist Party of India (Marxist) in which Vijayan is seen assuring people that CAA and the National Population Register’s updation process – considered to be the first step towards NRC – will not be implemented in the state.