The European Union (EU) parliament has decided to pressurise New Delhi over the Citizenship Amendment Act and reorganisation of Jammu and Kashmir.
Out of 751 members of the EU Parliament, 626 have moved six resolutions on both issues.
The diplomatic offensive by the EU against India comes ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Brussels for the India-EU summit in March.
Sources in the ministry of external affairs here said the government took note of the EU move immediately and will withstand EU pressure by reminding its members that the CAA is “an internal matter” of India.
“Moreover, this legislation has been adopted by due process and through democratic means after a public debate in both Houses of Parliament,” a source said.
The government, sources said, is going to argue that every society takes into consideration a context and criteria to formulate its own process for naturalisation. European countries have themselves followed the same approach, an official pointed out. “This is not discrimination,” he added.
Sources said that New Delhi is hoping that the sponsors and supporters of the draft in EU will engage with it to get a full and accurate assessment of the facts before they proceed further.
“As fellow democracies, the EU Parliament should not take actions that call into question the rights and authority of democratically elected legislatures in other regions of the world,” a senior official said.
Interestingly, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is in the midst of completing Brexit from the EU, has been reaching out to India for strengthening trade and bilateral relationship ties. The EU-UK ties have soured since the Brexit vote.
Meanwhile, thousands protested across the country against the citizenship bill that many fear is discriminatory against the minority Muslim community. The protests, which began last month, gathered fresh momentum as the nation celebrated Republic Day.
In Kerala, the CPI-M-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) yesterday organised a human chain extending from Kasargod to the Tamil Nadu border, involving participation of an estimated 7mn people.
People came out in large numbers to participate. After a trial at 3.30pm, the chain running on the side of the National Highway from Kasargode to Thiruvananthapuram, a distance of about 600 km, began forming at 4pm.
The preamble of the Constitution was first read out and then every participant took a pledge to be ready to give their lives to protect the Constitution, “which is now facing threat on account of the CAA by the BJP-led central government”.
The human chain was the brainchild of the CPI-M and at the northern point in Kasargode, its politburo member S Ramachandran Pillai was first in the chain and at the southernmost end, at the Tamil Nadu border at Kaliyakevala near here, was another politburo member M A Baby.
“Kerala has always led numerous protests and also shown to the rest of the country, what very strong protests can lead to. This show has been near total and even though the leadership of the opposition is not taking part in this, numerous supporters have taken part and this shows that we are all one to a wrong decision of the Centre,” Baby said soon after he finished taking part in the human chain.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, along with his family members, stood in the chain at Palyam in the heart of the state capital.
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