Former finance minister P. Chidambaram
Former finance minister P. Chidambaram
(PTI Photo/R Senthil Kumar)

On Monday, senior Congress leader and former finance minister P Chidambaram has said that the BJP government would have amended the Constitution if they had majority.

According to the Hindu, while speaking at an event by the Chennai International Centre on the subject, ‘The Current National Situation: Where are we headed?’ Chidambaram said “Thank God. You don’t give them the two-third majority. If they have, they would not make an amendment law but would have amended the Constitution. They are wrecking the Constitution through the backdoor.”

Chidambaram also said that he knew of no provision of the Constitution which directly introduced the principles of religion as a consideration for something or other. He also pointed out that elected representatives before drafting a law must ask themselves whether they were making it Constitutionally valid. Chidambaram also said that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill [now an Act] was a clear case of elected representatives abdicating their responsibility, reported the Hindu.

Several protests erupted across India on Monday against the police crackdown in Jamia Millia Islamia here and the controversial citizenship law as students and political leaders took to the streets, even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi called these protests "deeply distressing" and appealed for peace.

The Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) became law after receiving the President’s assent. The legislation aims to fast-track citizenship for persecuted Hindus, Parsis, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, and Christians who arrived in India before Dec. 31, 2014, from Bangladesh, Pakistan, or Afghanistan. For the immigrant religious minorities, the law effectively amends India’s Citizenship Act, 1955, which required an applicant to have resided in India for 11 years.

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