Maha Vikas Aghadi and the opposition in the state assembly on Wednesday had a heated exchange of words on the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) after former chief minister Ashok Chavan said the Act is unconstitutional till the Supreme Court decides its constitutional eligibility the state government should not implement in Maharashtra.
However, leader of opposition Devendra Fadnavis took a serious objection to Chavan’s statement saying that the CAA has been passed by the Parliament and the Supreme Court has powers to decide whether it is illegal or unconstitutional. BJP legislators entered into the well while Fadnavis demanded that Chavan’s remark be expunged from the proceedings.
Chavan said after the passage of CAA in the parliament there have been student agitation across the country including Maharashtra and there are reports to crackdown on such agitation. "The Act is unconstitutional and it has been challenged in the Supreme Court. Therefore, the state government should not implement it in Maharashtra till the apex court delivers ruling on its constitutional eligibility,’’ he noted.
However, Fadnavis said it is mandatory on state government to implement the Act passed by the Centre in the parliament.
Supporting Fadnavis, senior BJP leader Sudhir Mungantiwar said, "The Assembly members cannot comment on decisions of the President, Assembly speaker and Parliament. Hence, CAA cannot be called 'unconstitutional'."
However, NCP member Jitendra Awhad objected to it and said any law which is available in public domain can be discussed in the House. "This House has previously discussed POTA (Prevention of Terrorism Act), so it also can discuss CAA," he said.
Awhad said he hails from the Vanzari caste and the Act is against it. ‘’Most of the communities from Vanzari caste have no proof of citizenship. CAA is fight between the rich and poor,’’ he noted.
Amidst pandemonium the speaker Nana Patole twice adjourned the house.