CAA: Kerala CM, oppn leader draw Union Minister's ire

Minister of State (MoS) for External Affairs V Muraleedharan. (PTI file photo)

Union Minister of State for External Affairs and Parliamentary Affairs V Muraleedharan on Sunday lashed out at Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and state opposition Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala for protesting against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and said taking the protest to the streets is the 'trait of anarchists.'

The arch-political rivals in Kerala Vijayan and Chennithala from the Left and the Congress parties respectively had recently organised a joint protest against the CAA. During the protest, they attacked the BJP-led NDA, RSS and the Sangh Parivar by alleging that the amendment was brought in as part of their agenda to divide people and create a religious state.

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"If the Kerala Chief Minister has some difference of opinion against the law passed and signed by the President, there are certain manners in which he can express it. But taking the protest to the streets is the trait of anarchists," Muraleedharan said.

When those who hold constitutional posts itself try to become anarchists who shall the people approach for law and order, he asked.

The Union Minister was speaking at a state conference of the BJP's employees wing of the Public Service Commission (PSC) here.

He said that by proclaiming that the law won't be implemented, the chief minister was "playing to the gallery" "If a political leader was saying so, then it's fine. But a chief minister? The Opposition Leader has got the power of a cabinet minister. They receive salary from the tax payers money," the Union Minister said.

Muraleedharan further said that in a democracy, the public can raise its voice to express dissent but in a peaceful manner.

"The Centre had passed a law recently. Some might have a different view on the law. They can register their protest. But there are certain limitations to raise the voice. In a democracy, when the public raises its voice against the law, it should be in a peaceful manner," Muraleedharan added.

He asked Congress and the CPI(M) to revisit the resolutions passed by them during various years, since independence, on the matter.

"Listen to (former Prime Minister) Manmohan Singh's speech of 2003. It's available on WhatsApp. Those who have doubt can ask their kids to show it from WhatsApp. These are the speeches, incidents and stands taken by those parties just a decade ago. Now they are fooling people by staying silent about those resolutions," he said.

He said the protests are part of the appeasement politics and to bag the 20-25 per cent of votebank in the state.

There were widespread protests against the Centre over the CAA with all the political parties taking out a protest march everyday to central government institutions in the southern state. 

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