New Delhi: At a time when the country is witnessing a rising protest against the proposed Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB), Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday asked the members of the Parliament (MPs) of the BJP to be present in the House when the CAB will be introduced next week. He also urged the MPs not to bunk the House during the tabling of the Bill.

Saying that the CAB is as important as other Bills that were passed in the recent past, Rajnath said all the BJP MPs must be present in large numbers in the House when the bill will be tabled by Home Minister Amit Shah.

He said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was not happy about MPs being absent in the House when important bills are being introduced.

Apart from Rajnath, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Patel also asked the BJP MPs to attend the Parliament session as many important bills are lined up.

Refuting allegations from the Opposition that the bill seeks to grant citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan, Rajnath said his party has always worked to unite everyone in the country.

In another development, Union Home Minister Amit Shah last week met and held talks with leaders of political parties, student bodies and civil society groups of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya on the CAB.

He also met Chief Ministers of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya Sarbananda Sonowal, Pema Khandu and Conrad Sangma respectively.

As per updates, the home minister is believed to have told them that the CAB may not affect the tribal areas protected by the Inner Line Permit (ILP) regime and those who are governed under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution. He must have told them that these areas will be exempted from the ambit of the proposed bill.

The CAB 2019 seeks to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955, in order to grant Indian nationality to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians, who come to India due to religious persecution in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan even if they don’t possess proper documents.