New Delhi: Expressing disappointment over his party supporting the contentious Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019 (CAB), poll strategist and Janata Dal United (JD-U) vice president Prashant Kishor asserted that the legislation, which was cleared by the Lok Sabha with 311 votes, discriminates right of citizenship ‘on the basis of religion’.
“Disappointed to see JD(U) supporting Citizenship Amendment Bill that discriminates right of citizenship on the basis of religion. It’s incongruous with the party’s constitution that carries the word secular thrice on the very first page and the leadership that is supposedly guided by Gandhian ideals”, tweeted Kishor.
The JD(U) had till recently Opposed the CAB, notwithstanding its alliance with the BJP, holding that the move discriminated against the Muslim population and could trigger massive unrest in the north-east.
However yesterday, while participating in the debate on the Bill, JD(U) leader in the Lok Sabha, Rajiv Ranjan alias Lalan Singh, said on the floor of the House that the party was supporting the legislation since it was “not against secularism”.
Notably, Kishor had also disapproved of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) draft in Assam, terming it a ‘botched up exercise’.
“A botched up NRC leaves lakhs of people as foreigners in their own country! Such is the price people pay when political posturing and rhetoric is misunderstood as a solution for complex issues related to national security without paying attention to strategic and systemic challenges,” he had stated.
His remarks were strongly criticised by many of his party colleagues. Professionally, Kishor has been linked to parties like YSR Congress in Andhra Pradesh and Trinamool Congress in West Bengal.
About Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019
Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019 seeks to amend the Citizenship Act of 1955 which prohibits illegal migrants from applying for Indian citizenship. It provides that Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, and Christians fleeing persecution in Muslim-majority Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan can be granted citizenship.
While PM Modi expressed happiness over the passage of the Bill, members from the Opposition parties strongly objected it. Many were seen terming the Bill ‘unconstitutional’. However, some other leaders of other parties came forward to support the Bill.
Introducing the Bill in the House, Amit Shah said the Bill will not do injustice to anyone and there is no political agenda behind bringing the Bill to the house.