The contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, which seeks to grant citizenship to non-Muslim immigrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan if they faced religious persecution there, is likely to be introduced in the Lok Sabha on December 9. The Citizenship Bill, which was cleared by the Cabinet on Wednesday, will be taken up for passage the next day, official sources said. It will be tabled in the Rajya Sabha after being dealt with by the Lower House of Parliament.
Its passage in the Lok Sabha is all but certain due to the massive majority the BJP and its allies have, and the Union government is confident of its passage in the Rajya Sabha as well with the support of several non-aligned regional parties which have often joined the treasury benches in the past. To ensure the smooth passage, the BJP has issued a which asking its Parliamentarians to be present in huge numbers in the House.
Meanwhile, several Opposition parties in Rajya Sabha led by the Congress held a meeting to firm up their strategy on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, which is likely to be tabled in Lok Sabha next week, sources said on Thursday.
The meeting of senior Rajya Sabha members of Opposition parties such as the Congress, Trinamool Congress, DMK, Aam Aadmi Party, Samajwadi Party, CPI and CPI(M) was held in Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad’s chamber.
Congress sources said party chief Sonia Gandhi will discuss with senior party leaders the party’s strategy on the bill, and will also hold discussions with like-minded parties over the next few days.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday said the party will oppose the bill aimed at providing citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan.
“Congress party is against any form of discrimination against anybody in this country. So anybody who discriminates against anybody who is Indian, we are against them. That is our line. We believe that India belongs to everybody—all communities, all religions, all cultures,” Gandhi told reporters in Kozhikode.
AAP leader and Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Singh alleged that the CAB is an attempt of the BJP to hide its sin of National Register of Citizens (NRC).
“NRC is a very big failure of the BJP in which 11 lakh Hindus, nearly 3 lakh people from UP and Bihar and 3 lakh Muslims have been excluded. So in our own country these people have been made foreigners and they will be kept in detention centres,” he claimed.
“It is a conspiracy to target people from UP, Bihar specially in states like Gujarat, Maharashtra and Delhi. It is their (BJP) mega plan and CAB is just a drama to shoo away people of Bihar and UP from other states,” claimed Singh, who attended the meeting in Azad’s chamber.
With PTI Inputs