Armed with placards rejecting the government’s newly-introduced Citizenship law (CAA) and National Population Register (NPR), a group of parliamentarians from the opposition Trinamool Congress (TMC) party staged a demonstration during President Ram Nath Kovind’s Budget Address in Parliament on Friday.
The Indian parliament’s lower house Lok Sabha later reconvened, but proceedings were soon adjourned amid continuing protests.
TMC, the ruling party in West Bengal is set to boycott the first two days of the budget session to mark its protest against the “biased” laws and policies of the Modi government.
The West Bengal government has been a vocal critic of the CAA and the NPR, and the West Bengal State Chief Mamata Banerjee party-led government recently passed an anti-CAA resolution and appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to review the CAA.
Parliamentarians led by the chief of India’s principal opposition party Congress also staged demonstration in front of Mahatma Gandhi’s Statue in front of the Parliament building.
#WATCH Delhi: Opposition leaders including Congress Interim President Sonia Gandhi protest in front of Gandhi statue in Parliament premises, against #CAA_NRC_NPR #BudgetSession pic.twitter.com/wolQCzvz0Q— ANI (@ANI) January 31, 2020
While the citizenship law seeks to grant Indian citizenship to non-Muslim minorities who fled persecution from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan and settled in India on or before 31 December 2014, the government says the NRC is intended to identify genuine citizens.
The NPR aims to record biometric and demographic details of Indian nationals.
Prime Minister Modi has maintained that no Indian Muslim has anything to worry about as regards the CAA “as it seeks to grant citizenship, not snatch it”.