The Lok Sabha on Monday passed the controversial Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) lead by the Union Home Minister Amit Shah with 311 in favor and 80 against. It enables a person from the six communities like Hindu, Jain, Buddhist, Sikhs, Parsi or Christian to apply for citizenship, even without proof of birth, just by staying in India for six years. The Bill is likely to be taken up in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.
All about the Citizenship Amendment Bill
The CAB is a bill, formerly proposed in the Lok Sabha on 9 December 2019, revising the Citizenship Act of 1955. If the Bill is legislated in the Parliament, evacuees from communities, particularly, Hindu, Jain, Buddhist, Sikhs, Parsi or Christian coming from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan will be fit for Indian citizenship.
The Bill grants citizenship to non-Muslims from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan who came to India on or before December 31, 2014. It enables a person from the six communities to apply for citizenship, even without proof of birth, just by staying in India for six years. Still, the Citizenship Bill shall not implement to tribal areas of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, and Tripura.
A six-hour-long discussion on the Bill at Lok Sabha, Union Home Minister Amit Shah asserted that the recommended law does not distinguish against Indian Muslims but sighted at protecting continued mistreatment of minorities in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. Pointing out the fact, Amit Shah said there is a difference between illegal immigrants and refugees. He said the Bill was a result of the negligence of the 1950 Nehru-Liaquat pact. 311 MP’s where in favor and 80 were against. The Bill is likely to be carried up in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.
Opposition parties like Congress, Trinamool Congress, Left parties and others opposed this bill, terming it define discordant. Congress MP from Thiruvananthapuram Shashi Tharoor said the introduction of the Bill would regard the victory of Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s thought over Mahatma Gandhi’s. “You cannot say you reject Pakistan by supporting the ideology of Pakistan,” he said.
My first intervention in the Citizenship Amendment Bill debate in the Lok Sabha yesterday opposed the introduction of the bill on the grounds that Parliament has no legislative competence to violate the Constitution : pic.twitter.com/rQjVdMM1KJ
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) December 10, 2019
AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi stated the Bill was a “plot to make Muslims stateless”, and tore a copy of the Bill to highlight his protest.
In his reply, the union home minister said Muslims were not covered since they were not a minority in these three countries. Shah sought to assure the minorities that the government was committed to giving security and equal rights to all citizens. MPs from regional parties in the Northeast supported the Bill, demanded that their respective states be kept out of the purview of the proposed law.