AIADMK’s support to CAB triggers political slugfest

DMK President and Opposition Leader M K Stalin and Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami. (PTI photos)

Ruling AIADMK’s explicit support to the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB) that leaves out ethnic Tamils and Muslims of Sri Lanka who fled their country to India during the height of the civil war has triggered a major political slugfest in Tamil Nadu.

AIADMK, which has 11 MPs in Rajya Sabha, flagged few concerns on the CAB but voted in favour of the controversial legislation that has led to massive protests in North-Eastern India. While the party justifies its stand saying it was convinced that the CAB would not hurt the minority communities in Tamil Nadu, there are very few buyers to the argument.

Leading the all-around attack against AIADMK on the issue is DMK President and Opposition Leader M K Stalin who castigated the ruling party for supporting a legislation that was in "direct contradiction" with the Constitution of India. The AIADMK also came under relentless attack from Tamils on the social media with several hashtags condemning the party, along with the BJP for supporting CAB, trending.

"It is unconstitutional to link citizenship with religion. CAB is a direct assault on secularism, equality and fraternity - principles which are essential to any democracy. AIADMK once again stands completely exposed for its decision to support this immoral legislation," Stalin said after the Bill was passed in Rajya Sabha with AIADMK’s support.

Tearing into AIADMK, Stalin wanted to know why the party still bore legendary C N Annadurai’s name if it believes only in BJP’s agenda and policies.

DMK’s ally Congress, VCK and Left parties have also come down heavily on the AIADMK for supporting the Bill. The DMK and Congress had sought to know, during the debate in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, why Sri Lankan Tamils and Muslims and refugees from other countries like Myanmar and Bhutan were left out in the legislation.

Thousands of Sri Lankan Tamils and Muslims fled the island and sought refuge in Tamil Nadu during the 1980s and 1990s as the civil war escalated in their country. While some have gone back to Sri Lanka after the end of the war, several thousands have made Tamil Nadu their home and still live in unenviable conditions.

Social media users also questioned the AIADMK on its stand seeking to know whether late party leader J Jayalalithaa would have endorsed such legislation.

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