Kerela Budget 2020 presentation is underway in the state assembly.
As the CPI(M)-led LDF government kicked off its fifth budget presentation for 2020-21 fiscal, Finance Minister TM Thomas Isaac started his speech with remarks on the recently enacted Citizenship Amendment Act and the resolution passed by the state assembly against it.
Stressing that the country is witnessing the biggest protests in the post-Independence era, he said that the legislation is a threat to the basic credentials of the Constitution.
Isaac further said that the hope of the country lies in the youth who hit the streets against the CAA vowing they would not let the country down.
Attacking the BJP-led government at the Centre, the minister noted a communalised government machinery, leaders who talk only about "disgust and hatred" and their party workers who consider violence as their duty was the current reality in the country.
"Generally speaking, it is present India...The concerns triggered by the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) are beyond words. The fear of detention centres are hanging above the head of over 19 lakh people of Assam who have lived as Indians till yesterday," he said.
Quoting from a poem 'Fear' by a 15-year old boy from Wayanad Dhruvath Gautham who wrote 'fear is country and silence is an ornament!' Isaac said, "even the imagination of our children is now filled with fear".
The finance minister also lavished praise on the joint protests led by the ruling LDF and opposition UDF against the central act. Setting aside political differences, the rival fronts in the state had joined hands to protest when the country had faced existential threat which had become a model for other states, he said. When Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala jointly protested at the same venue against CAA, Kerala became a model to other states, the senior leader added.
The state showcased the same unity while passing a resolution requesting the centre to repeal the CAA and filing a suit in the apex court against this under Article 130, Issac noted.
"The country's economy is heading towards a severe economic crisis like that witnessed in 2009," he said.
Earlier, the references to anti-CAA protests had found a place in the Pinarayi Vijayan government's policy address also. While presenting the policy address in the House, Governor Arif Mohammed Khan had read out references to anti- CAA resolution passed by the house, despite disagreeing with it.
(With PTI inputs)