NEW DELHI — Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday has tabled the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019 (CAB) in the Rajya Sabha to get the approval of the Upper House where the NDA does not enjoy absolute majority.
The bill was passed in the Lok Sabha, where the BJP-led NDA has majority, amid heavy opposition and protests from the Opposition parties. The Lower House passed the bill 334-106 after a fierce day-long debate on Monday.
Amit Shah, introducing the Bill in the Upper House also assured members that all their queries and doubts will be answered by him, says he is ready to do it.
Opposition parties including the Congress, AIMIM and the Trinamool Congress are against the bill. The Congress has issued a 3-line whip mandating its members in the Rajya Sabha to be present during the presentation of the bill.
The BJP, according to reports, is confident of getting support from parties such as the AIADMK, the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP), the TDP and BJD– all of which are outside the fold of the National Democratic Allliance (NDA).
Explaining the Citizenship Amendment Bill in the House Amit Shah said, religious minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh Afghanistan who have come to India will be given Indian citizenship.
The opposition party Congress while condemning the Bill in the Rajya Sabha said has resolved to oppose the Bill saying it an assault on Republic of India.
Congress MP Anand Sharma said: We oppose the bill, our opposition is not political, ….the bill is an assault on Republic of India, hurts the soul of India. It is against our democracy and Constitution, fails the morality test.
Earlier, ahead of the CAB being tabled in the Upper House, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi called the bill “attempt by Modi-Shah govt to ethnically cleanse the North East.”
In a tweet, the Wayanad LS Member of Parliament said, “The CAB is a attempt by Modi-Shah Govt to ethnically cleanse the North East. It is a criminal attack on the North East, their way of life and the idea of India.
I stand in solidarity with the people of the North East and am at their service.”
The Union Home Minister, however, said “Muslims of India needn’t worry, misinformation has been spread that this bill is against Muslims in India.”
Muslims who are citizens of India will remain so, won’t be discriminated against, said Shah.
RS Chairman has allocated six hours to debate the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019. The Bill was introduce at 12 noon.