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Kerala News
Joint protests to be held in Kerala against CAA
Thiruvananthapuram: A meeting of various political parties and socio-religious outfits, convened by Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi VIjayan here, on Sunday decided to hold joint protests against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

The over three-hour-long meeting, attended by MLAs, MPS, major Front leaders and representatives of various outfits, entrusted the Chief Minister and the opposition leader in the state assembly, Ramesh Chennithala, to hold discussions and decide upon further course of action in this regard.

Among the recommendations that emerged at the meeting were that the government should move the court and convene a special assembly session, Vijayan said.

"This matter is under the government's consideration", Chief Minister told the meeting.

To protect the Constitution and secularism, there is a need to put up a united fight at this juncture, a release quoting him said.

"While taking out protests jointly, we will get strength more than we can imagine.

The country itself will accept it as a model", he said, adding that the action to divide the people on religious lines will not be accepted in kerala.

No rule was above the Constitution, he said.

The Chief Minister cautioned that many protests,including by communal and extremist elements, were being held in many places and it was necessary to keep them at bay.

Stringent action would be taken against protests by such elements if they cross the limits, he said adding that the intervention of such forces was not good for society's healthy growth.

The government would not intervene in the protests being held for just causes, he added.

When religion becomes the basis of citizenship, the Constitution will be undermined and from secular nation, India will become a religious country, he added.

Two BJP leaders, who took part in the meeting, boycotted the session after the Chief Minister's speech, alleging that the meeting was "unconstitutional".

A joint protest gathering, held by the ruling CPI(M)-led LDF and opposition Congress-headed UDF, against the Act held on December 16 had drawn national attention as the arch political rivals shed their ideological differences and joined hands for a common cause.

After the meeting, Chennithala told reporters that different kinds of joint protests would be held in the state against the CAA.

"Our major demand at the meeting was to convene a special assembly session to express the state's concern over CAA.

We also wanted to send an all-party delegation to meet the President and appraise the concerns," he said, divulging details of the discussions.

The opposition wanted the state government not to slap cases against those protesting against the controversial Act, he said, adding that action should be taken to ensure that the draconian laws like UAPA were not being charged against them.

"We wanted to know whether the government has got any directive to set up detention centres in the state and the action they have taken in this regard.

We also wanted the government to organise more awareness campaigns to alleviate concerns of people over CAA," the opposition leader added.

The Chief Minister assured that the opposition's demands would be considered, he said adding that the ruling and opposition leaders would hold discussions and take a final decision on the future course of the anti-CAA protests.

Chennithala also held a meeting of Muslim outfits this evening to address the fear and concerns of the community.

Meanwhile, BJP leaders M S Kumar and J R Padmakumar told reporters that they boycotted the meeting as it was "illegal", "undemocratic" and "unconstitutional".

"The state government has no right to convene a meeting against an Act, passed in both Houses of Parliament.

They also cannot organise protests and agitations by spending money from the state exchequer," Padmakumar said.

The BJP leaders said they also wanted the meeting to discuss the protests against the Governor, Arif Muhammed Khan during the Indian History Congress in Kannur on Saturday, but the Chief Minister did not consider their request.

Around 50 leaders, representing various political and socio-religious outfits, took part in the meeting.

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