In order to keep the flames of minority appeasement burning, the Congress government in the state of Rajasthan has passed a resolution urging Centre to revoke the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). The resolution was moved in the state assembly’s budget session by the ruling Congress demanding the scrapping of the new law. Rajasthan is the third state to pass such resolution in its assembly. Kerala and Punjab, which are also ruled by non-BJP governments, have already passed resolutions seeking the withdrawal of the CAA.
However, the Ashok Gehlot-led state government is misleading the people through this move as the resolution is highly political and serves no means as citizenship is a Union subject hence the state governments have no power to refuse to implement it. CM Ashok Gehlot’s government is appeasing the minorities on one hand with this, while on the other hand it is providing citizenship to Pakistani refugees. A large number of Hindu refugees have successfully gained the Indian citizenship last year in Rajasthan. Notably, in November last year, a report stated that around 21 Pakistani refugees were provided the citizenship while hundreds of other applications were also being considered. Congress government in the state has provided Indian citizenship to hundreds of refugees from Pakistan in the last year.
Apart from the statistics, around twenty thousand religiously persecuted minorities from Pakistan are living in Rajasthan, hence politically, it would be suicidal for any party not to help them. Citizenship also makes them eligible for enjoying central and state’s beneficiary schemes. Gehlot government has no issues in benefitting these vulnerable people through Indian citizenship, but they act surprised when BJP government shapes this beneficiary process into a law (CAA). This depicts the mindset of the Congress government and their commitment for appeasement as the party stands against this welfare scheme.
Congress government is frustrated that the credit of the CAA would go to Home Minister Amit Shah and the BJP, as it was Amit Shah who spearheaded in creating a consensus among the people for the CAA and NRC. The Gehlot government wants to provide the citizenship to these persecuted refugees but through a very long process only to keep a distance from the CAA eyeing on the minority votes.
The Congress must open its eyes on this issue and should shun its electorally failed policy of minority appeasement. It must have a clear policy on the issues relating to the national interest as well as to the larger public opinion. Opposing Amit Shah is acceptable but fiercely opposing a Parliamentary act passed through ‘due process of law’ is a disgrace for our vibrant democracy. A leader of such stature as Ashok Gehlot must not indulge in petty politics over issues relating to the sentiments of larger public.