New Delhi: The Union home ministry says that state governments do not have any powers to stall implementation of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act in their states since it was enacted under the Union List of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution.
There are 97 items which are under the Union List, which include defence, external affairs, railways, citizenship and naturalisation, in addition to others.
A senior ministry official said states do not have the power to decline to implement a Central law which is in the Union List. The ministry’s view was made public after the categorical refusal by the Chief Ministers of West Bengal, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala and Chhattisgarh, among others, to implement the law in their states.
Most of these states are ruled either by the Congress or other Opposition parties.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had launched a scathing attack on the new law.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had said his government will not implement the legislation. Another Congress Chief Minister, Mr Bhupesh Baghel from Chhattisgarh, said the Act was clearly unconstitutional and the same view was expressed by his counterpart in Madhya Pradesh, Mr Kamal Nath, who said: “Whatever stand the Congress has taken on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, we will follow that. Do we want to be a part of a process that sows the seeds of divisiveness?" MP Chief Minister Kamal Nath asserted in New Delhi that it was part of the Centre's “politics of distractions” to deflect people's attention from economic slowdown....