Defending the citizenship bill, BJP general secretary Ram Madhav said that India is duty-bound to give citizenship to persecuted minorities from neighbouring countries. Referring to the persecuted minorities as ‘victims’, he added that the problem has aroused due to the ‘historical’ decision of dividing the country on religious lines.
The bill to be introduced tomorrow by Home Minister Amit Shah seeks to give Indian citizenship to non-Muslim refugees, who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan after facing religious persecution. Attacking opposition over criticism of the bill, Madhav said that a similar legislation ‘Immigrants (Expulsion from Assam)’ Act was enacted in 1950 by the then Congress government led by Jawaharlal Nehru.
Asserting India’s exclusivity, Madhav added,” The persecuted minorities of the neighbouring countries, which are proposed to be given citizenship in the bill, are victims of the historical decision to divide this country on religious lines. And India is duty-bound to give citizenship rights to these minorities.”
BJP’s go-to man for Northeastern states, Ram Madhav, said that government and Home Minister Shah held extensive consultations with various stakeholders from the region to address their apprehensions.
Madhav reiterated that the government will address all apprehensions of the states about the changes in their demography, language and culture due to this bill.
According to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, which was distributed among the MPs, the new law will not be applicable in the Inner Line Permit (ILP) regime areas and those tribal regions which are governed under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution.
(With PTI inputs)