Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Leader of Opposition in the state assembly, Ramesh Chennithala began a joint "satyagraha" on Monday to protest against the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA).
"The state has decided to put up a united protest as the Act has created concern among the citizens and it destroys the values of equality and secularism enshrined in the Constitution," Vijayan has said in a Facebook post.
Chief Minister Vijayan said that the prevailing situation is "volatile" and is created by BJP-RSS combine. "The present situation is created by BJP RSS combine. They are trying to implement their agenda. The volatile situation prevailing in the country," said Vijayan.
"India is a secular country that has space for people from every religion. The passing of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act is inviting widespread protests across the country. We are sending out the message that Kerala is together in our fight against CAA," he added. "Muslims are being kept away in CAA. Afghanistan is included but neighbours Maynmar, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan are avoided. This cannot be accepted. It is against the Constitution to divide people on religious line.CAA is anti-democratic," he said.
"The secular and democratic voices of Kerala have come together to fight against the draconian Citizenship Amendment Act. The joint Satyagraha has commenced at the Martyrs Column in Thiruvananthapuram. We must resist & We Will Resist", Pinarayi Vijayan tweeted.
Several non-BJP ruled states are averse to implementation of Citizenship (Amendment) Act that seeks to grant Indian citizenship to refugees from Hindu, Christian, Sikh, Buddhist and Parsi communities fleeing religious persecution from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh and who entered India on or before December 31, 2014. The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill was passed from Parliament earlier this week and became an Act with President Ram Nath Kovind giving his assent on November 12
(Inputs from ANI and PTI)