Representatives of at least 12 political parties headed by Sonia Gandhi met President Kovind on Tuesday to seek his intervention on the violence in central universities following the passage of Citizenship Amendment Act that has caused a furore in some parts of the country.
The delegation which comprised members of Congress, DMK, CPM, CPI, SP, TMC, RJD, National Conference, IUML, and AIUDF asked the President to urge the government to repeal the law which, they claim, is “unconstitutional and divisive”. BSP MPs from Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha will meet with the President separately on Wednesday.
Sonia Gandhi, who led the delegation, accused the government of “muzzling the dissenting voices and enacting laws that were unacceptable to the people of the country”. It is not clear why she had called a law, that was implimented after being passed from both houses of the parliament, as unconstitutional.
One notable feature of the opposition’s meet with the President was the conspicuous absence of the new Congress ally Shiv Sena. Shiv Sena, who has a new-found bonhomie with the Congress party following the formation of an alliance in Maharashtra did not participate in the delegation to meet the President for demanding rollback of the CAA Bill. After voting in favour of the Bill in Lok Sabha, Shiv Sena abstained itself from voting in the Rajya Sabha.
Shiv Sena spokesman Sanjay Raut said, “We knew that the passage of the bill had a potential to create a riot-like situation in different parts of the country. Chief Minister of Maharashtra. Uddhav Thackeray will decide on the implementation of the CAA in the state.”
Following the legislation of the Citizenship Amendment Act, certain parts of the country, witnessed violent riots by the ‘peaceful protestors’ that involved vandalism, arson and severe damage to public property. In order to prevent the situation from sliding into chaos any further, the police dealt with the rioters with an iron-fist, triggering outrage among opposition parties.