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P.Chidambaram says discriminatory CAA should be replaced by law of asylum

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P.Chidambaram says discriminatory CAA should be replaced by law of asylum
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Congress leader P Chidambaram | Photo: Vinod Kumar T (EPS)

New Delhi: Leading member of the Congress Party P Chidambaram stated on Tuesday that his party believes the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) should be repealed and replaced with an asylum law that complies with international treaties to which India is a party. He claimed that the CAA is "patently discriminatory".

He made these comments in response to criticism levelled against Congress by Home Minister Amit Shah about the party's stance on the controversial CAA.

A day after Chidambaram said his party would repeal the CAA if voted to power, Shah had said on Monday that the Congress is "hell-bent on harming" Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, Christian, Sikh and Parsi communities to appease its vote bank.

Asked about Shah's criticism of his remarks, Chidambaram told PTI, "It is not only my remark. Several Congress leaders have stated the position. We oppose the CAA when it was introduced in Parliament. Our members have visited the Shaheen Bagh protest. I myself visited the Kolkata protest and we stand in solidarity with those who protested against the CAA."

"The CAA is patently discriminatory. We are restraint because the matter is sub-judice in the Supreme Court but our views are quite clear, the CAA is patently discriminatory, it selects three countries and six religious groups, for example, it leaves out the Tamils of Sri Lanka, it leaves out the Tamils of Myanmar. Why?" he said.

"The Tamils are Tamil-speaking, they are Hindus, Muslims. Why is the Tamil Hindu in Sri Lanka who is subject to oppression not allowed to migrate to India if he satisfies the conditions of asylum? Therefore, our position is the CAA must go, we must replace it by a law of asylum which is consistent with international treaties to which India is a party," the former home minister said.

On Shah's remarks that one needs to be in government to change laws and it's not possible for the Congress to become even the main opposition party, Chidambaram said, "Thank God the Election Commission of India is different from the Ministry of Home Affairs and thank god the people of India are independent of the Election commission of India."

Chidambaram said there is a long list of laws, for example, the Prevention of Money Laundering Act,2002, that need to be reviewed, repealed or amended.

He said the PMLA law has to be repealed and re-enacted in order to be consistent with international conventions on money laundering.

"Our law is clearly in violation of Indian law as well as the international convention," he said on PMLA.

"Similarly, there are many laws which they have made that have diluted the purpose of the law, which have distorted the laws, for example, environmental laws have been amended, forest laws have been amended, all that has to be reversed. We have said so in a chapter (in the manifesto) in reversing the damage," Chidambaram said.

"We did not want to add a list as it runs into at least two pages. Several laws have to be reviewed, some will be repealed, some will be repealed and re-enacted and some will be amended," he added.


With PTI inputs

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TAGS:Citizenship Amendment ActP Chidambaram
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