In a sharp attack on Modi government, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill is an attack on the constitution of India. The Bill, which seeks to grant citizenship to non-Muslim immigrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan if they faced religious persecution there, was passed in the Lok Sabha with 311-80 votes on Monday night, after more than seven hours of debate and discussions.
Taking to Twitter, Rahul Gandhi wrote, “The CAB is an attack on the Indian constitution. Anyone who supports it is attacking and attempting to destroy the foundation of our nation.”
Introducing the bill, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, on Monday, said the Congress "divided" the country on the basis of religion that is why it was necessary to bring the bill.
Shah said the proposed legislation is being brought on the basis of reasonable classifications provided under the Constitution and it does not violate any of its provisions.
Earlier, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said, "India's tryst with bigotry and narrow minded exclusion" was confirmed as the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha at midnight yesterday.
'Last night at midnight, India's tryst with bigotry and narrow minded exclusion was confirmed as the CAB was passed in the Lok Sabha. Our forefathers gave their lifeblood for our freedom," she said in a tweet, recalling her great-grandfather Jawaharlal Nehru's speech on the midnight of August 14-15, 1947, when India rang in its Independence.
"Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom," Nehru had said in the opening lines of a speech believed to be among the greatest in the 20th century.
The government is likely to introduce the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019 in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday. Unlike the 2016 scenario, the ruling government is confident of smooth passage of the Bill in the Upper House. According to official sources, the effective strength of the Rajya Sabha is 238. The NDA's current strength is 105 in the House, including 83 members of the BJP, six of Janata Dal (U), three of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), one each from LJP and RPI(A) and 11 nominated MPs.