Citizenship Amendment Bill to be tabled in Lok Sabha today

Citizenship Amendment Bill to be tabled in Lok Sabha today

EC Nws Desk

New Delhi, December 9, 2019: The Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) is listed to be tabled in the Rajya Sabha by Union Home minister Amit Shah today (on Monday). The bill seeks to grant India citizenship non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan escaping religious persecution there.

The bill to amend the six-decade-old Citizenship Act will be introduced in Parliament in the afternoon, and later in the day it will be taken up for discussion and passage, according to the Lok Sabha's List of Business for Monday.

“In Citizenship Act, in Section 2 in sub-section (i), in clause (b) the following proviso shall be inserted namely:- “provided that any person belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi or Christian community from Afghanistan, Bangladesh or Pakistan, who entered into India on or before the 31st day of December 2014 and who has been exempted by the Central Government by or under clause (c) of sub-section (2) of section 3 of the passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920 or from the application of the provisions of the Foreigners Act 1946 or any rule or order made there under shall not be treated as illegal migrants for the purposes of this Act,” the Bill said.

The Opposition parties including the Congress, CPI(M), most north-eastern parties, AIMIM, Trinamool Congress have openly revolted against the Bill, calling it unconstitutional and against India's secularity. There is much curiosity about Shiv Sena to back the BJP by extending its support to the Bill but most likely Sena is to support the bill. Sena’s move backing the CAB would be in direct contradiction to its recently formed Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance’s stance.

Shiv Sena which allied with the Congress had recently released its "secular" joint Common Minimum Programme (CMP). The CMP's preamble declares that the alliance will take a joint view on matters which have consequences on the "secular fabric of the nation" indicating towards a toned-down right-wing Shiv Sena.

However, the battle in the Lok Sabha is already a foregone conclusion since the BJP has an outright majority in the lower house, but the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) lacks the numbers to reach the halfway mark in the Rajya Sabha.