New Delhi: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday asserted that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill has the “endorsement of 130 crore Indian citizens” and rejected suggestions that the measure is anti-Muslim, saying it will give rights to persecuted minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
Trying to allay apprehensions of people of the Northeast, Shah said the Narendra Modi Government is committed to protect the customs and culture of people of the region and informed that Manipur will be brought under Inner Line Permit regime, where the proposed law will not be applicable.
The Bill, which has been opposed by the Congress, Trinamool Congress and other opposition parties, was introduced after a division of votes for which 293 MPs voted in favour and 82 against it. “Citizenship amendment Bill has the endorsement of 130 crore citizens of the country as it was the part of the BJP manifesto in 2014 as well as 2019 Lok Sabha elections,” Shah said, initiating the debate on the contentious Bill.”We will have to differentiate between intruders and refugees. Citizenship amendment Bill does not discriminate against anyone and does not snatch anyone’s rights,” he said.The Home Minister said under the proposed legislation, citizenship will be granted to refugees coming from the three countries after facing religious persecution there even without documents, including ration cards.Noting that India has given similar rights to people in the past, Shah said Manmohan Singh and L K Advani could become prime minister and deputy prime minister respectively due to this after they came from present day Pakistan. “This Bill is not even .001 per cent against Muslims. It is against infiltrators,” he said earlier while introducing the Bill. PTI
Tharoor submits notice to oppose introduction
New Delhi: Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Monday submitted a notice in the Lok Sabha to oppose the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill at the introduction stage on the grounds that it “violates” the fundamental right to equality. Tharoor submitted the notice this morning under under Rule 72 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha.The Bill violates the Fundamental Right to Equality prescribed by Article 14 since it infringes upon the principle of “equality before law” and the “equal protection of laws” guaranteed to all persons, including non-citizens, Tharoor said in his notice.The Bill endorses the idea of religious discrimination by allowing individuals of only six religious identities to acquire citizenship while excluding the individuals belonging to other religious identities, he said. It is, therefore, beyond the legislative competence of the House to enact a “legislation of this nature” since Article 13 clearly states that “the State shall not make any law which takes away or abridges the rights conferred” by Part III of the Constitution, Tharoor argued.Citing these reasons, Tharoor said he wishes to oppose the proposed Bill and request the permission of the Speaker, to elaborate upon these submissions before the House in a “full discussion” so that the motion for introduction is not allowed, the notice read. Tharoor said even if the Bill is passed by both the Houses of Parliament, he is confident that no bench of the Supreme Court will allow such a “blatant violation” of the fundamental tenets of India’s Constitution to go unchecked. PTI
Attempt to distract people from failures: Cong
New Delhi: The Congress on Monday alleged that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill has been brought in to distract people from the failures of the BJP-led government on NRC and the economic front. Congress leader Gaurav Gogoi said the Bill is in violation of many articles of the Constitution and the basic spirit of the Preamble which talks of equality, liberty and fraternity.Asked will the Congress challenge the Bill in Supreme Court, he said, “I am sure if this Bill is passed, there are some in the Congress party who are itching to challenge this in the court.” “This Bill is nothing but an exercise to distract from the failure of the BJP (government) with respect to the NRC in Assam where around 19 lakh people have been excluded and many of them seem to be genuine Indians,” Gogoi said.He also claimed that it is an attempt to divert attention from the economic failures. “It seems that the the NRC was nothing but a political exercise for the BJP because when 40 lakh were excluded, Home Minister Amit Shah jumped and termed them infiltrators. Many of them turned out to be Indians,” Gogoi said. “The Home Minister should first apologise to the people of the Gorkha community whom he called infiltrators,” he said. PTI
Targeted legislation over minority: Adhir Ranjan
New Delhi: Soon after the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB), 2019 was tabled and introduced in the lower house of parliament, leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Monday said that it is targeted against minorities of the Country. “It is nothing but targeted legislation over minority population of our country,” said Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury. “It violates the fundamental principles of the Constitution and is against the preamble,” he added.Replying to Chowdhury, Amit Shah said that it is not even .001 per cent against minorities in the country.”This Bill is not even .001 per cent against minorities in the country,” Shah said in the House, amid much uproar by the opposition. ANI
‘Invisible Hindu-Muslim partition’: Sena
Mumbai: Ahead of tabling of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in Lok Sabha on Monday, the Shiv Sena has questionned whether “selective acceptance” of Hindu illegal immigrants will act as a trigger for a religious war in the country and accused the Centre of apparently doing an “invisible partition” of Hindus and Muslims over the Bill.The Uddhav Thackeray-led party also said “vote bank politics” under the garb of the Bill (CAB) is not in the interest of the country. In an editorial in the party mouthpiece ‘Saamana’, the Sena also raised the timing of the Bill saying, “There is no dearth of problems in India now but still we are inviting new ones such as CAB. It looks like the Centre has made an invisible partition of Hindus and Muslims over the Bill”.The Sena, which has 18 MPs in the Lok Sabha, also pointed out that most of the States from the North East region have opposed the CAB along with Bihar where the BJP is sharing power with the JD(U), and West Bengal.At the same time, the Sena has appealed to Prime Minister Narednra Modi to take a strong action against some neighbouring countries that torture Hindus like he had taken against Pakistan.”It is true that there is no other country for Hindus except Hindustan. But by accepting only Hindus among the illegal immigrants..will it be a trigger of a religious war in the country?” the Sena questionned. PTI
Violates basic features of Constitution: RSP’s Premachandran
New Delhi: Revolutionary Socialist Party MP NK Premachandran on Monday said that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill violates the basic features of the Constitution. Speaking in Lok Sabha, Premachandran said, “This Bill violates the basic structural features of the constitution envisioned in the preamble as the entitlement of citizenship based on religion is against the secular fabric of the country.” The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill that makes it easier for non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan to get Indian citizenship was introduced in Lok Sabha by Union Home Minister Amit Shah after opposition members vociferously opposed it. The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was introduced after a division with 293 members voting in favour of the Bill and 82 against it. ANI