Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Monday said if the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill is passed by Parliament, it will be a victory of the thoughts of Muhammad Ali Jinnah over Mahatma Gandhi. Participating in the debate on the contentious Bill, Tharoor said the proposed legislation goes against the basic principle of the Constitution.
"If this bill is passed, then it will be a victory of Muhammad Ali Jinnah's thoughts over Mahatma Gandhi," he said.
Earlier in the evening, AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi tore a copy of the bill in the Lok Sabha. The AIMIM MP launched a blistering attack on the Union government over the bill, saying it was aimed at making Muslims "stateless" and will lead to another partition. Opposing the Citizenship Amendment Bill, Owaisi said the bill is an “insult to India's freedom fighters”.
"This law is worse than Hitler's law. The Muslims are getting dominated," said Owaisi.
According to the proposed legislation, members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities, who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, till December 31, 2014 and facing religious persecution there will not be treated as illegal immigrants and will be given Indian citizenship.
Earlier in the day, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on said in Lok Sabha that the bill is not against minorities but against infiltrators. Introducing the bill, Shah 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.
The bill, he said, seeks to give Indian nationality to non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan who are facing religious persecution there. The home minister said laws were framed to give citizenship to people on several occasions in the past, including in 1971 after the creation of Bangladesh and attacks on Indians in Uganda, by using the provision of reasonable classifications.
"This bill is not even .001 per cent against minorities. It is against infiltrators," he said.