Mumbai: After Congress-led states declared that they would not implement the new citizenship law, the grand old party has started putting pressure on the Shiv Sena to do the same in Maharashtra.
However, legal experts said that state governments cannot refuse to implement the legislation because it was enacted under the Union List of the Constitution.
The Congress ministers in the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government on Friday, Nitin Raut and Balasaheb Thorat, stated that the law would not be implemented in Maharashtra.
While Raut said that his party would not allow the implementation of amended Citizenship Act in Maharashtra, Thorat — who is also the party’s state unit chief — said that the Congress was opposed to the Act and it would follow the same policy in the state. “Congress has condemned the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, which is not in line with the Constitution. In the state also, we will follow the policy of our party’s central leadership,” Thorat said.
Raut hoped that the Shiv Sena would stick to the stand it had taken in Rajya Sabha and not allow the amended Citizenship Act to be implemented in the state.
The Shiv Sena had supported the Bill in Lok Sabha, but after the Congress threatened to pull out of the state government if the party continued to back it, the Sena registered its protest against the legislation in the Rajya Sabha and staged a walkout. The Sena had posed certain queries to the government over the bill and demanded answers before supporting the legislation in the Upper House of Parliament.
“They have put forth their view on this in no uncertain terms in the Rajya Sabha. I am sure Uddhavji is firm on the position his party took on the issue in the House,” Raut said.
Meanwhile, advocate Sujay Kantawala, said that state governments have no say in the implementation of laws enacted under the Union List.
“Under our federal structure of government, a Central Act, which is passed by Parliament, has to be implemented by the state. The state cannot have separate say in this,” said Kantawala. The Union List or List-I is a list of 100 numbered items given in Seventh Schedule in the Constitution of India on which Parliament has exclusive power to legislate....