Ahead of the tabling of the contentious Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019 in the Rajya Sabha, Prime Minister Narendra Modi hit out at the Congress for speaking against the national interest. News Nation has learnt that the Prime Minister made the remark during the crucial Parliamentary Board meeting of the BJP on Wednesday. “Why is the Congress is speaking in Pakistan’s language on CAB,” the Prime Minister reportedly said in a sharp remark. The statement gains significance as it may set the tone for the BJP’s attack against the Congress. After the meeting, while addressing the media, Union Minister Prahlad Joshi said that, “PM Modi said that Citizenship Amendment Bill will be written in golden letters for people who are persecuted on basis of religion.”
Joshi also said that, “PM Modi asked all MPs to take suggestions of farmers, traders and businessmen in their respective constituencies and give that feedback to Finance Minister.”
After a smooth sailing in the Lok Sabha, the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill is expected to face a sterner test on Wednesday when it will be taken up for discussion in Rajya Sabha. While the numbers game seem to favour the Modi government, a boost in opposition numbers has made things more interesting in the Upper House. The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill passed in the Lok Sabha with 311-80 votes on Monday night, after more than seven hours of debate and discussions.
Unlike the 2016 scenario - where the bill died a silent death in Rajya Sabha - the ruling government is confident of smooth passage of the Bill in the Upper House this time. Sources in the the BJP-led NDA said they were sure of getting near 124-130 votes in Rajya Sabha which has an effective strength of 240 members.
However, opposition ranks have been boosted by the decision of the six-member Telangana Rashtra Samithi to oppose the bill. The stand of former NDA member and current Congress ally Shiv Sena will also be interesting to watch. Sena, after voting for the bill in Lok Sabha, said on Tuesday it may not support the bill now. It has three members in Rajya Sabha.