Citizenship Act divisive: Kamal Nath

Citizenship Act divisive: Kamal Nath

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath. (PTI Photo)

In an indication that he will not implement the new citizenship law in Madhya Pradesh, Chief Minister Kamal Nath has said the new legislation is "divisive" in nature and "against the spirit of the Constitution".

He also sought to know why Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not hold talks with chief ministers before the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill was drafted.

"I am deeply hurt that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the central government did not even call the chief ministers for a talk on such an important issue before drafting the CAB," Nath said in a statement issued here late Friday night.

"The Congress party has been of the view from the beginning that any move aimed at dividing the Indian culture and society is against the spirit of the Constitution and is unacceptable to it. The Congress party's stand would be our stand in Madhya Pradesh," he added.

Earlier, Congress MLA Arif Masood demanded that the chief minister reject the amended Citizenship Act as well as proposed country-wide National Register of Citizens.

Masood, the MLA from Bhopal Central constituency, told reporters on Thursday night he would resign as legislator if the demand was not fulfilled.

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday and by Lok Sabha on Monday. President Ram Nath Kovind gave his assent to the Bill on Thursday, turning it into an Act.

As per the Act, members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan till December 31, 2014, and facing religious persecution there will not be treated as illegal immigrants, but given Indian citizenship.

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