New Delhi: Amid strong opposition from many political parties across India and student groups in Northeast, Union Home Minister Amit Shah is all set to introduce the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019 on Monday in Lok Sabha.
The Bill will be introduced in the afternoon in the House that seeks to grant Indian citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan escaping religious persecution there.
The development comes as it was the election promise of the BJP in the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha polls. The Bill last week got the approval from the Union Cabinet. After the formal introduction in the House, the Bill will be taken up for discussion and passage.
To make its presence felt strongly in the House, the ruling BJP has, meanwhile, issued a whip to all its Lok Sabha members to remain present in the House for three days starting from December 9.
Since the time of its conception, the Bill has triggered widespread protests in northeastern states and among political parties across the country, saying it will nullify the provisions of the Assam Accord of 1985, which fixed March 24, 1971.
To protest against the Bill, the influential North East Students’ Organisation (NESO) has, meanwhile, called an 11-hour bandh on December 10 in the region.
As per the update, the government has made certain provisions under which the Bill will not be applicable in the Inner Line Permit (ILP) regime areas and those tribal regions that are governed under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution. Moreover, the Bill also proposes to give immunity to refugees who are facing legal cases after being found illegal migrants.
Opposition from Congress
Upping its ante, the Congress has decided to oppose the Bill. The decision was taken after a team of the parliamentary strategy group met Sonia Gandhi at her residence on Sunday.
Talking in details, Congress Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said the bill is in complete violation of the Constitution’s secular ethos, culture, tradition and civilization.
“We will oppose the Citizenship Amendment Bill tooth and nail because it is in violation of our Constitution, secular ethos, tradition, culture and civilisation,” he said.
Apart from Congress, Left parties and the TMC have also decided to oppose the Bill in Lok Sabha. Earlier in the day, a number of Congress leaders including Ghulam Nabi Azad and AK Antony also said they will oppose the Bill.
Meanwhile, Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi urged all North-East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) parties not to side with BJP and stand with the people of the northeast. “I appeal to all North-East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) parties to stand with your people of the northeast. Do not side with the BJP for political compulsions,” he said.