While several top political leaders in India claimed that the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) is considered to be an internal issue, a session was held in the European Parliament to debate upon India's stand on CAA and NRC
London: A joint motion, combining five different resolutions tabled by members of the European Parliament against India's Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), was debated at the Plenary session in Brussels, with an expected vote on the motion on Thursday postponed until March.
The debate opened with a statement by Helena Dalli, the vice president of the European Commission and High Representative of the Union for foreign affairs and security policy, who spoke strongly in favour of the "rich, frank and open" relationship the European Union (EU) shares with India.
She highlighted Prime Minister Narendra Modi's upcoming visit to Brussels in March for the 15th India-EU Summit.
"We believe that it is the role of the Supreme Court of India to assess the compliance of the law with the Constitution and we are confident that the ongoing judicial process will contribute to appeasing the tensions and violence witnessed over the past weeks in the country," said Dalli, who concluded the debate with a message to "pursue and intensify" dialogue with India as a "respected democracy" and valued EU partner.
Two Indian-origin MEPs, Dinesh Dhamija and Neena Gill, were among a host of members who spoke up in India's favour to point out elements of "disinformation" around the CAA and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) within the parliamentary motion.
Thierry Mariani, a French MEP, alluded to the "hand of Pakistan" in the motion being tabled, while others condemned it as meddling in another country's internal affairs.
Pakistan-origin MEP Shaffaq Mohammed and others such as S&D's John Howarth and VERTS/ALE's Scott Ainslie described the CAA as a "highly discriminatory" legislation and alleged that the EU had crumbled in the face of India's diplomatic lobby and prioritised trade and business interests over human rights concerns by postponing a vote on the motion.
"The only lobby that has won today is that of common sense and respect," countered ECR's Polish MEP Ryszard Czarnecki.
Earlier, the European Parliament had announced that the vote on the motion would be postponed to the Plenary session in March.
"Following a decision by MEPs at the opening of Wednesday Plenary session in Brussels, the vote on the resolution on India's Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) 2019 has been postponed to the March session," said a statement from the European Parliament.
One of the groups behind the motion, the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament (S&D), said the reason for the postponement was because the CAA was undergoing a legal process in India.
"As the Supreme Court in India will rule in the coming days linked to this issue and, as such, the law may be adapted, it was considered better to vote on the resolution in the European Parliament when there is full clarity on the situation," a spokesperson said.
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Last Updated Jan 30, 2020, 9:53 AM IST