New Delhi: Soon after Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday introduced the Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019 in Lok Sabha, members from the Opposition parties strongly objected to the Bill and issues statements against its passage in the House. 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.
“There is no political agenda behind this bill. There is no question of it doing injustice to anyone. With the passing of this bill, many and many will get rid of torturous life and become citizens of India,” he said.
He also stated that the Central government is committed to implementing CAB which would give protection to persecuted communities in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh.
However, opposing the Bill for its sense discrimination and division, a number of political leaders said the idea of the BJP is to divide the country. Here are the top reactions of political leaders.
Manish Tewari: Congress leader Manish Tewari said the Bill is against the Constitution of the country. “This is against Article 14, 15, 21, 25 and 26 of the Indian constitution. This bill is unconstitutional and against the basic right of equality,” he said.
Vinayak Raut: Shiv Sena leader Vinayak Raut asked the Home Minister for updates on how many refugees from these six communities are living in India. “How many refugees from these six communities which are mentioned in the Bill are living in India? The Home Minister has not answered this, how much will our population increase when they get citizenship? Also, what about Tamils from Sri Lanka,” he asked.
Abhishek Banerjee: TMC leader Abhishek Banerjee strongly opposed the Bill and said the BJP’s idea of India is divisive. “Swami Vivekananda would be shell shocked if was here seeing this bill as it is against his idea of India. BJP’s idea of India is divisive. It will be disastrous if we ignore words of Mahatma Gandhi and not heed the advice of Sardar Patel,” he said.
His statement comes after his party chief Mamata Banerjee has from day one been strongly opposing the Bill. She had earlier in the day said, “Don’t be scared of CAB (Citizenship Amendment Bill). We are with you. As long as we are here nobody can impose anything on you.”
Dayanidhi Maran: DMK leader Dayanidhi Maran asked whether the Bill has any provision if Muslims from PoK want to come to India. “Probably the fear of the West, the fear of being isolated by West has crept into you and you had to include Christians in this bill. Also what about if Muslims from PoK want to come? What law do you have for that,’ he asked.
Asaduddin Owaisi: All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen leader Asaduddin Owaisi urged the Central government to save the country from such laws. “I appeal to you (Speaker), save country from such a law and save Home Minister also, otherwise like in Nuremberg race laws and Israel’s citizenship act, Home Minister’s name will be featured with Hitler and David Ben-Gurion,” he said.
However, there were some leaders in the House who supported the Bill. Here are their top reactions.
Ram Madhav: BJP General Secy Ram Madhav said the Citizenship Amendment Bill is for the persecuted minorities who’ve come over to India. “If they’ve been here for at least 5 years, they can claim Indian citizenship. We’re open to providing refugee status to many people, including refugees from Sri Lanka and Pakistan,” he said.
Midhun Reddy: Supporting the Bill, YSRCP leader Midhun Reddy urged the Central government to take care of certain sects who are being persecuted among Muslims. “We support this Bill, but we have certain concerns also, we expect the government to take note of our concerns. Even among Muslims, there are sects that are persecuted, we request the government to treat them at par the Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019.
Prasanna Acharya: BJD leader Prasanna Acharya supported the Bill and suggested to include Sri Lanka in it. “We’ll support the Citizenship Amendment Bill, but our suggestion is to include Sri Lanka in it because there were reports about mistreatment towards minorities there in the past. Also, the government should allay any misunderstanding that the bill is against Muslims,” he said.
Rajiv Ranjan Singh: JDU leader Rajiv Ranjan Singh said it is right thing if persecuted minorities of Pakistan are given Indian citizenship. “We support this bill. This bill should not be seen in the light of Indian citizens, both majority and minority. If persecuted minorities of Pakistan are given Indian citizenship then I think this is the right thing,” he said.