London: A joint motion, combining five different resolutions tabled by Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) against India’s Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), has been placed on the final agenda for debate at the Plenary Session Wednesday in Brussels.
However, an expected vote on the motion Thursday has been postponed until the Parliament’s Plenary session in March.
“Following a decision by MEPs at the opening of today’s (Wednesday) Plenary session in Brussels, the vote on the resolution on India’s Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2019 has been postponed to the March session,” said a statement from the European Parliament.
The reason behind the postponement of the vote is unconfirmed but will come as a boost to the Indian government’s efforts against such a motion being voted on by the European Parliament.
The motion takes note of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR) statement last month, which described the CAA as ‘fundamentally discriminatory in nature’, and also of other UN as well as the European Union (EU) guidelines on human rights as it calls on the Indian government to ‘repeal the discriminatory amendments’.
The debate on CAA Wednesday will follow the European Parliament’s historic ratification of the Brexit bill, under which the UK is set to formally leave the economic bloc on Friday.
“While the CAA’s stated goal of protecting persecuted groups is welcome, an effective national asylum and refugee policy should be just and holistic in nature and apply to all those in need,” notes the motion, which also describes the CAA as ‘discriminatory in nature and dangerously divisive’.
The Indian government has maintained that the CAA, which was passed by the Indian Parliament last month, is an internal matter of the country and stressed that the goal is to protect the oppressed minorities of neighbouring countries. It has been extremely critical of the move in Brussels, which the European Commission – the executive arm of the economic bloc – has sought to distance itself from.