'Will consider dual citizenship for SL refugees: Shah'

Last Updated 22 December 2019, 13:31 IST

Amid protests over Citizenship (Amendment) Act leaving out Sri Lankan nationals, Home Minister Amit Shah has assured Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami that the demand for “dual citizenship” to refugees from the island nation will be considered at an “appropriate time.”

During a meeting with Shah on December 19, Palaniswami also reiterated the AIADMK’s support for the legislation that provides citizenship to members of six minority communities from three neighbouring countries, an article in AIADMK mouthpiece Namadhu Amma on Sunday said.

“During the meeting with Amit Shah, the Chief Minister made it clear that his position was same as that of his late leader J Jayalalithaa that Sri Lankan Tamils who live here should be granted dual citizenship. After having heard the Chief Minister with interest, the Home Minister told him that the government would consider his request and bring an amendment to the Citizenship Act at an appropriate time,” the article said.

The AIADMK is under an all-round attack from political parties and civil society for voting in favour of the CAA, despite it leaving out Sri Lankan Tamils. More than 65,000 Sri Lankan Tamils live in refugee camps in various parts of Tamil Nadu.

Though the AIADMK raised the issue of CAA not including Sri Lankan Tamils, all its 11 MPs voted for the Bill in Rajya Sabha on December 11. However, the AIADMK junked the criticism by saying that it has been raising the demand of dual citizenship for Sri Lankan Tamils with the Centre every now and then.

On CAA, Palaniswami told the Home Minister that AIADMK spokespersons and speakers have been briefed about the legislation and that they would take the “positive aspects” of the legislation to the people in their speeches.

“The stand of the Tamil Nadu government vis-à-vis CAA is clear. Other political parties are opposing it for political reasons. Our (AIADMK) approach is different, and we support the legislation. Party spokespersons have been sensitised about the positives in the Bill and they will take it to the people,” the article quoted Palaniswami as having told Shah.

During the meeting, Palaniswami also told Shah that there was “no public support” to the protests against CAA in Tamil Nadu. His comments come at a time people belonging to all faiths converging at vantage points in various cities and towns protesting against the legislation.

(Published 22 December 2019, 13:31 IST)

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